John Bodwin

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John Bodwin
Birth name John Gerald Gerard Bodwin
Born (1934-01-11) January 11, 1934 (age 81)
Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
Genres Jazz, Free jazz, Modal jazz, Classical
Instruments Trombone, Baritone, Tuba, Euphonium
Years active 1954–1997
Associated acts John Bodwin Quintet, Bodwin Brothers

John Bodwin (born 1934) is a British-born musician and multi-instrumentalist most notable for his work as a jazz tuba player.


He grew up in Northern Ireland, attending Dalriada School.

He played tuba for the BBC Northern Ireland Orchestra for a number of years before moving to London in 1955. [1] For the next 5 years he concentrated on classical music, playing tuba and occasional euphonium for ensembles such as the Newcastle Chamber Orchestra. He also began experimenting with jazz during this time, joining a number of semi-professional bands.

In 1961, he abandoned classical music altogether to set up his own band - The Bodwin Brothers, with his brothers Jacob (piano) and Martin (drums).[1] They performed successfully until 1963, when they expanded to form the renamed John Bodwin Quintet.[2] They soon achieved moderate successes in mainland Europe, moving to Paris in 1965 due to the then thriving continental jazz scene, and performing, among others, with musicians such as Kenny Clarke, Johnny Griffin and Francy Boland. The line-up of the band changed frequently over the years, with John Bodwin eventually remaining as the only constant member. [2]

In 1982, the quintet disbanded. John Bodwin carried on as a solo artist, finding work mainly as a session and touring tubist for other bandleaders and making a partial return to classical music, playing as a guest tubist with several French orchestras. In 1991 he held a successful reunion concert called John Bodwin & Friends.

In 1997, at the age of 63, he left music completely to fulfil his life's ambition - become a maths teacher.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b Newman (1979). A brief history of Jazz. p. 18. 
  2. ^ a b Newman (1979). A brief history of Jazz. p. 19.