Avon Cities Jazz Band

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The Avon Cities Jazz Band was a jazz band from Bristol, England, that formed in 1949 and eventually split in 2000. The band was known for performing jazz standards such as "Cotton Tail" (originally performed by the influential pianist Duke Ellington), and for creating their own tunes.

One popular example of their own compositions is African Song. It was from one of their most popular albums, Tempo Fugit, which was released in the 1990s. The Avon Cities were particularly successful in the 1970s and 1980s.[citation needed]


The core members of the band:

  • Geoff Nichols; the band's trumpeter and writer of many of the band's own pieces
  • Mike Hitchings; the band's soprano saxophone player, who also wrote some of the band's own pieces
  • Ray Bush; the band's clarinet player, who occasionally sang as well (left in 1984 when he moved to the USA)

Other notable members of the band included:

  • Chris Pope; the band's drummer from the 1964 until 1995
  • Frank Feeney; the band's guitarist from 1961 until 1988
  • Dave Collett; the band's main pianist from 1963 onward
  • Clive Morton; bassist for over 20 years
  • Basil Wright; the band's drummer before Chris Pope
  • Malcolm Wright; bass player (brother of Basil)
  • Jan Ridd; pianist in the late 1950s
  • Wayne Chandler; banjo and guitar player in the late 1950s
  • Martin Genge; Saxophone player from the 1980s onward
  • Frank Woodford; drummer from 1995 onward

Geoff Nichols and Mike Hitchings never left the band, playing from 1949 until 2000.

In 1952, Geoff Nichols, Mike Hitchins, Ray Bush and Basil Wright formed the Avon Cities Skiffle Group.