Chris Barber formed his first New Orleans Band in 1949 at the age of 19 after being inspired by the music of The King Oliver Creole Jazz Band.
Over the 50 or so years since then, having performed over 10000 concerts and produced 100 CD’s, the band has become one of the world’s most successful traditional jazz bands.
The original band was a 6-piece, but in 1960 Alexis Korner joined the band to bring the band to a 7-piece. In 1978 an additional reed player (Sammy Rimmington) was added to produce the eight piece Chris Barber Jazz & Blues Band. In 2001 three additional musicians were recruited to form the current incarnation- The BIG Chris Barber Band. The new additions are from Bob Hunt’s Duke Ellington Orchestra, producing the current line-up:-
- Chris Barber -trombone
- Bob Hunt -trombone
- Mike Henry -trumpet
- Peter Rudeforth -trumpet
- John Crocker -saxes,clarinet
- Bert Brandsma -saxes,clarinet
- Richard Exall -saxes,clarinet
- Joe Farler -banjo, guitar
- John Slaughter -guitar
- Jackie Flavelle -bass
- Gregor Beck -drums
The band are kept busy worldwide performing on the concert stage and at the big European Jazz festivals. They also appear along with other famous jazz groups such as Kenny Ball, Acker Bilk and on concert tours entitled the “VIP’s of Jazz” with The Dutch Swing College and The Pasadena Roof Orchestra.
Chris Barber has always had a strong connection with Blues music and this is reflected by his many appearances with Artists in this field. He has performed with Muddy Waters, Louis Jordan, Doctor John and recently appeared in concert and also recorded with Van Morrison.