Pete Allen (musician)

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Pete Allen
Pete Allen February 2020
Pete Allen February 2020
Background information
Born (1954-11-23) 23 November 1954 (age 65)
Newbury, Berkshire, England
GenresDixieland Jazz
Occupation(s)Musician, bandleader
InstrumentsClarinet, alto and soprano saxophones, vocalist
WebsiteOfficial website

Pete Allen (born 23 November 1954, Newbury, Berkshire, England)[1] is an English Dixieland jazz clarinettist, alto and soprano saxophonist, bandleader and vocalist.[2] He has appeared in many television and radio shows, both with his own band and as a solo artiste. He has featured as soloist alongside many American greats including “Peanuts” Hucko, Bud Freeman, Bob Wilbur, Marty Grosz, Billy Butterfield, Barrett Deems and Jack Lesberg, and played a number of times with the late British jazz trumpet star Kenny Ball.  He has played in New Orleans and was awarded an Honorary Citizenship for his services to jazz music. 


Early Life[edit]

Pete Allen was born in Newbury, Berkshire, the only child of Bernard (Bernie)  and June Allen. He was educated at Winchcombe Primary and Junior schools, then Downs School at Compton.  While at Downs he was taught music by Don Paxton who gave him a good grounding in classical music.

Musical Career[edit]

Pete Allen first became interested in playing music while still at school when he started to play clarinet with his father's band.  Bernie Allen had formed a trio with organ, drums and himself on banjo, known as Pete Giles and his Merry Men.  After a brief career as a P.C. in Thames Valley Police Force, Pete joined Rod Mason's Jazz Band in 1976.  The band's line-up was Rod Mason (trumpet), Chris Haskins (bass), Jimmy Garforth (drums), Johnny Withers (banjo), Pete Allen (clarinet and saxophone) and Roger Marks (trombone).

Pete Allen first formed his band in October 1978 which consisted of Pete as leader, Janusz Carmello (trumpet), John Armatage (drums), Campbell Burnap (trombone), Bernie Allen (banjo) and Tony Bagot (bass).  During the early years they made thirty appearances on “Pebble Mill at One” for BBC Television.

In 1983 the Pete Allen Jazz band made the first of several trips to the Old Sacramento Dixieland Jazz Jubilee, California.  Their first concert was played to a 4,500 audience with Pete and Bernie, Chris Hodgkins (trumpet), Ian Bateman (trombone), Tony Bagot (bass) and Graham Scriven (drums).  In 1984 Pete Allen was invited to lead the Worldwide All Stars selected from the best players from the various bands in the festival.  The line up included Jack Lesberg (bass) and Barrett Deems (drums) who had both played with Louis Armstrong's All Stars.

In 1992 Pete Allen organised a trip to New Orleans with British musicians including his own band.  He was called up to meet the city mayor and was awarded an Honorary Citizenship of New Orleans for services to British music and tourism.

During the late 1980s and 1990s a show 'Jazzin' Around' was played in UK theatres, which included among many guests, Tommy Burton, Beryl Bryden, Joan Savage, Don Lusher, Clinton Ford and George Chisholm.

Recent Work[edit]

The Pete Allen Jazz Band (usually six or seven musicians) and his Dukes of Wellington (normally four or five) appear at prestigious jazz festivals, theatres and clubs throughout the UK and abroad, with appearances in France, Denmark, Germany, Holland, Portugal and Spain.  In the UK, regular monthly concerts are held in Minehead (Regal Theatre), Newbury (Deanwood Park Golf Club) and Sidmouth (Sidholme Hotel). The current line-up (as of December 2019) includes Richie Bryant (drums), Dave Hanratty (bass), James Clemas (piano), Dave Moorwood (guitar/banjo), Roger Marks (trombone), Andy Dickens (trumpet) and is led by Pete Allen (clarinet, saxophones and vocals).

Pete Allen Band
Pete Allen Jazz Band, Sidmouth, November 2019

During November 22-24 November 2019, Pete Allen celebrated his 65th birthday with a weekend programme of Jazz at the Sidholme Hotel, Sidmouth.  With the Pete Allen Jazz Band, guests also included Enrico Tomasso (trumpet) and Tad Newton's Jazz Friends.[3]

Pete Allen on clarinet
Pete Allen Newbury Feb 2020

Pete Allen has recently published a book: On the Beat: My Life as a Jazz Musician[4].


Since 1978 Pete has released over 100 albums on LPs, cassettes and CDs on the following independent labels[5][6]: Black Lion Records, PAR Records, JMA Recordings, Raymer Sound, Upbeat Recordings, Loose Tie Recordings, d&p Recordings

  • The Martinique: Pete Allen Jazz Band (1983)
  • Sacramento Lift Off: Pete Allen Jazz Band (1983)
  • Jazzin' Around: Pete Allen Jazz Band (with Beryl Bryden and Tommy Burton) (1984)
  • Jazzin' Around II: Pete Allen Jazz Band (with Joan Savage and Tommy Burton) (1985)
  • Dixie Date!: The Pete Allen Band (1986)
  • "All Aboard for Alabam!": Pete Allen Jazz Band (1986)
  • Jazz You Like It: Pete Allen Jazz Band (with Clinton Ford) (1991)
  • Beau Sejour (A Nice Place to Be): Pete Allen (1991)
  • Down by the Riverside: The Pete Allen Jazz Band (1994)
  • "Big Chief!": Pete Allen Jazz Band (1996)
  • Loose Tie: Pete Allen Jazz Band (1998)
  • 21 Years On: Pete Allen (2001)
  • Caravan: Pete Allen Jazz Band (2001)
  • Happy Jazz:  The Pete Allen Jazz Band (2001)
  • Running Wild:  The Pete Allen Jazz Band (with Susan Valliant Speer) (2002)
  • North Sea Festival Vol. 2: Pete Allen's Jazz Band (2003)
  • Riverboat Shuffle: Pete Allen (2003)
  • Chinatown My Chinatown: Pete Allen Jazz Band (2004)
  • 30 Years On: Pete Allen Jazz Band (2008)
  • I Wish You Love: Pete Allen's Dukes of Wellington (2018)
  • On the Beat: The Pete Allen Jazz Band (2019)


  1. ^ "Pete Allen | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 2020-01-22.
  2. ^ Ian Carr; Digby Fairweather; Brian Priestley (2004). The Rough Guide to Jazz. Rough Guides. p. 13. ISBN 978-1-84353-256-9.
  3. ^ "Pete Allen Birthday Bash".
  4. ^ Allen, Pete (2019). On the Beat. Seaton Print & Design Limited. ISBN 978-1-5136-5121-7.
  5. ^ "Discogs: Pete Allen Jazz Band".
  6. ^ "Pete Allen vinyl, 30 LP records & CD found on CDandLP". Retrieved 2020-03-10.

External links[edit]