LIVING THE DREAM - B&R bari star Amy Ewen chats to BB

Issue 6140

END OF THE ROAD - Jeans' tenure at GUS comes to a close

CONCERT REVIEW - Tredegar shines at Newbury Spring Festival

SADLY MISSED - Richard Evans laid to rest

BIDDING FAREWELL - Stephen Allen says goodbye to Lancaster British Brass Band

Under the spotlight: Don Jenkins

Wednesday 27 April, 2022

Salvationist Don Jenkins has enjoyed distinguished involvement in music, which has seen him perform, conduct and inspire in performances around the world. Brett Baker speaks to the esteemed brass musician about his musical life.


Where did you start playing and who were your early teachers?

DJ: When I was nine years old, Bandmaster FJ Tucker taught six or seven boys at Bristol Easton Road Corps. As I grew up in the area, I was given a cornet and for a year, played it in the Young People’s Band. Around 1945-46, my father became the band leader. He came home one day with several instruments, which included a trombone. During World War Two, my mum would get my brother John and me ready for Sunday School, sit us in the front room and turn on the radio while she prepared for the Army. During that time the Glenn Miller Big Band would come on the radio and I was captivated by its sound, especially the trombones. I took the trombone from its case and, with some help, taught myself to play.

Who did you look up to when you started?

DJ: The principal trombone of the Bristol Easton Band was a player called Ernie Davidge. He had a lovely lyrical style so he was my idol. In my late teens, I heard the sound of Don Lusher with the famous Ted Heath Big Band. I bought the ‘78’ record with Don playing Lush Slide and wore it out trying to copy it.

How about the highlights that you want to talk about as a trombone player?

DJ: The tour with Spiritual to The Bone in Switzerland is something special for me. In 1999, Steve Bulla phoned me in The Netherlands asking me to join them as they were short of a player. When I arrived, they had found a replacement, so I only got to play twice, but what a thrill. In around 2004, Northop Band invited me to conduct Quintessence at a contest. We came second which, after a disappointing result at the contest the year before, it was very pleased with. Having not been involved in many contest performances this was a highlight for me.

To access the full article, subscribe to British Bandsman today!

Issue 6136 digital April 21, 2022