Goodmayes-born jazz legend Kenny Ball gets “perfect” musical send-off

A wreath shaped as a musical note.

A wreath shaped as a musical note. - Credit: Archant

A crowd of 400 gathered to give a jazz legend the “perfect send-off” at his funeral that included live performances from three jazz groups.

A wreath shaped as a musical note.

A wreath shaped as a musical note. - Credit: Archant

Trumpeter Kenny Ball, born in Mayesbrook Road, Goodmayes, died in hospital aged 82 on March 7 after suffering from pneumonia.

A “New Orleans-style” funeral was held at Herongate Wood Cemetery, Brentwood, on Tuesday.

Kenny’s jazz musician son Keith Ball said: “It was unbelievable to see everyone there and so many people came up to me and told me it was the best funeral they had been to. It was the perfect send-off and was a celebration like he would have wanted.

“We wanted it to be a funeral like you see in the films and he loved New Orleans; he was even given honorary citizenship.”

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The funeral included the song Everytime You Say Goodbye and ended with Mr Ball’s best known hit, Midnight in Moscow.

Keith added: “My father was such a warm and kind-hearted man. He would talk to anyone and was very down to earth.

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“I will miss him very much. I would like to thank everyone for their support, it has been incredible.”

The musician first blew on to the music scene at the former Regal Cinema, in High Road, Ilford and leaves behind widow Betty and three children.

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