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John Bennett (Trombone)

John, a founder member of the band, was born in East London 'within the sound of Bow Bells'.

He started out in jazz at an early age as a self-taught boogie woogie pianist, and regularly picked the lock of the school piano with his nail file in order to give lunch-hour recitals to his fellow pupils. This was severely frowned upon by the educational authorities of the day, though it did earn John a lasting place in his schools underground hall of fame.

Later on he took up trombone, and while stationed in London on National Service with the army, John spent his off-duty evenings sitting in with bands at various jazz clubs in the Soho area. He went professional with the Terry Lightfoot band in 1956, and there met Kenny Ball who was also to join that band eighteen months later. Kenny soon realised that although Terry' s band was successful he wanted to play different stuff and entertain audiences in a more flamboyant manner and decided to leave. John said, " Well if you're going I'm going too " and that was the start of a 55 year friendship and partnership.

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