Celebration of the life of Sir John Dankworth

Tue 02 Mar 2010

Dankworth familySix hundred guests gathered at The Stables, Milton Keynes, to share emotion, laughter and tears, as those closest to Sir John remembered him in their own individual way.
Sir John sadly passed away on Saturday 6th February just hours before he, his wife Dame Cleo and their family were due to take to The Stables’ stage for a concert to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the much loved venue.   The Stables was founded by Sir John and Dame Cleo to celebrate diversity of music and bring performers from around the world to its stage.

With extraordinary courage and fortitude and despite their pain and sorrow, Dame Cleo and their children, Alec and Jacqui and granddaughter Emily, made sure the Show would go on, just as Sir John would have wanted.  With the audience unaware, they all gave stunning performances that would have made him proud. Only just before the finale did Dame Cleo announce, to a stunned audience, the passing of her beloved husband of 52 years, just hours earlier. “We were joined at the hip for a very long time. I will miss him” she said.

One thing remains certain, the legacy of Sir John Dankworth, the totemic figure of British jazz, will live on for generations to come.

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