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Sir Malcolm Henry Arnold (1921–2006) by Erich Auerbach, 1961 Getty Images

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Arnold, Sir Malcolm Henry (1921–2006), trumpeter and composer, was born at Fairview, Cliftonville, Northampton, on 21 October 1921, the fourth son and fifth and youngest child of William Arnold, shoe manufacturer, and his wife, Annie, née Hawes. Coincidentally, two other well-known British composers of the twentieth century, ...

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Kenneth Baker (1921–1999) by unknown photographer © News International Newspapers Ltd

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Baker, Kenneth [Kenny] (1921–1999), jazz trumpeter, was born at 73 Queen Street in the east Yorkshire town of Withernsea on 1 March 1921. Both parents were musical: Kenny's father, Herman Baker, a boot- and shoemaker, played the clarinet and saxophone, while his mother, ...

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Victor Robert Barclay (1911–1987) by Terry Cryer, c. 1956 © Terry Cryer; Val Wilmer Collection

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Barclay, Victor Robert [Bob] (1911–1987), musician and bandleader, was born at 45 Wellington Street, Greenock, Renfrewshire, on 10 July 1911, the elder son and eldest of three children of William Bartholomew Barclay, labourer and coalminer, and his wife, Janet Adamson, née Chrystal, factory worker. His father was of ...

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Harold Winston Beckett (1923–2010) by Richard Kaby, 2007 © Richard Kaby

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Beckett, Harold Winston [Harry] (1923–2010), jazz trumpeter, was born on 30 May 1923 in St Michael Parish, Barbados, the son of Vivian Cox Beckett, plumber. It was in this British colony that he first heard overseas broadcasts by UK-based bandleaders including Bert Ambrose...

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Blake, Cyril McDonald [called Midnight Blake] (1897–1951), jazz musician, was born on 22 October 1897 in Trinidad, the son of Samuel Blake, cabinet-maker. He served in the merchant navy in the First World War and went to Britain on discharge. In October 1921 he was a member for engagements in ...

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John Blanke (fl. 1507–1512) by unknown artist, 1511 [detail from the Westminster Tournament Roll] College of Arms, Westminster Tournament Roll. Reproduced by permission of the Kings, Heralds and Pursuivants of Arms.

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Blanke, John (fl. 1507–1512), royal trumpeter, was employed as a musician at the courts of Henry VII and Henry VIII, making his first recorded appearance there in 1507. He is thought to have been of African descent, but his age, place of birth, and parentage are unknown. His surname may have originated as a nickname, derived from the word ...

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Dennis Brain (1921–1957) by Howard Coster, 1956 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Brain, Dennis (1921–1957), horn player, was born on 17 May 1921 in London, the son of Aubrey Brain (1893–1955) and his wife, Marion Beeley. He was born into a horn-playing dynasty of which, despite his premature death, he became the most distinguished member. His grandfather was ...

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Carr, Ian Henry Randell (1933–2009), jazz trumpeter and author, was born at Charnwood Maternity Home, Dumfries, on 21 April 1933, the son of Thomas Randell Carr, tea salesman, later company director, and his wife, Phyllis Harriet, née Carr. At the time of his birth registration his parents lived at ...

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Ian Henry Randell Carr (1933–2009) by unknown photographer, 1970 © JazzSign / Lebrecht Music & Arts

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George Chisholm (1915–1997) by Suzi Gibbons, 1989 photograph Suzi Gibbons / Redferns

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Chisholm, George (1915–1997), trombonist, was born at 47 Ardenlea Street, Glasgow, on 29 March 1915, the son of George William Chisholm, woodturning machineman, and his wife, Mary, née Clennachan. His family was musical: his father played drums, his mother the piano, and his two brothers, ...

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Kenneth Colyer (1928–1988) by David Redfern photograph David Redfern / Redferns

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Colyer, Kenneth (1928–1988), jazz musician, was born in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, on 18 April 1928, the third son in a family of three sons and two daughters of Kenneth Edward Colyer, a chauffeur and butler, and his wife, Ruby Erhardt (d. c...

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Sir John Philip William Dankworth (1927–2010) by unknown photographer, 1962 © Rex Features