Kenny Ball - Jazz trumpeter Kenny Ball dies

Jazz trumpeter Kenny Ball has died of pneumonia aged 82.

The music legend had been suffering health problems for some time before he passed away in a hospital in Essex, Southern England, on Thursday morning (07.03.13).

His manager Les Squires said: ''He had been in and out of hospital recently. Sadly this time he did not come out, but he was playing to the end.''

Kenny found fame in the 1960s and '70s, starting out as part of his hero Louis Armstrong's band before forming his own group, The Jazzmen.

The band enjoyed success in 1961, when their song 'Midnight in Moscow' reached number two on the UK singles chart. They would go on to become regulars on TV, performing on 'The Morecambe and Wise and Show' and becoming the house band for BBC's 'Saturday Night at the Mill'.

The band's manager Syd Appleton said: ''Kenny had lungs like an elephant. Playing the trumpet at 82 is hard work.''

Kenny - who performed at Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding reception in 1981 - had been battling pneumonia for some time and his son, Keith, had stepped in with his band to fill in for him.

A statement on the band's website said: ''Ken's son Keith Ball has been fronting The Jazzmen whilst Ken has been in hospital. Ken's wish is that Keith and The Jazzmen carry on Kenny's music, which Kenny has been playing for the past 55 years.''

Kenny is survived by his first wife, Betty, their three children and his second wife, Michelle.


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