Funeral of celebrated jazz musician Jackie Flavelle to take place at Roselawn Crematorium

Jackie Flavelle played string bass and electric bass in the trad-jazz Chris Barber Band

THE funeral of celebrated jazz musician Jackie Flavelle, who has died at his Co Down home aged 78, will take place at Roselawn Crematorium tomorrow.

North Belfast-born Flavelle played string bass and electric bass in the trad-jazz Chris Barber Band from May 1967 to July 1977 and had a successful career in London before returning to raise his family in Donaghadee, Co Down.

Just last month a benefit gig was held at Balmoral Golf Club, Belfast after friends and fans learned that he was ill.

Organiser Lewis Smith described him as "one the most inspiring humans and musicians I have ever known", which he said was a sentiment "shared by many".

All proceeds from the concert went "directly to Jackie in a time when he and his family need us".

Flavelle died peacefully at home on Monday.

He would have been 79 years old next month.

A former RBAI pupil, he learned the rudiments of music in Ulster Amateur Flute Band, which his uncle Bill enrolled him in aged seven, and was inspired to take up the bass by the skiffle craze and Lonnie Donegan.

His musicality ranged from rock groups and Dixieland bands to showbands and latterly DJing.

Flavelle organised modern jazz clubs in Derry and Belfast and is said to caused a stir at the time by introducing the bass guitar to what was then a conservative audience.

His career outside Belfast included recording ‘Dixie Toot' with Rod Stewart.

More recently, his Music Club met every Tuesday in the Rotterdam Bar at the Belfast docks and Saturday afternoon blues with The Essence at The Old Priory Inn, Holywood.

In the twilight of his career, Flavell worked with Belfast singer/songwriter Duke Special and Co Antrim singer Ciaran Lavery, appearing on his mini-album, `A King At Night - The Songs Of Bonnie Prince Billy'.

His daughter Lisa Flavelle inherited his love of music and went on become a successful radio DJ in her own right.

Radio Ulster DJ Ralph McLean? said yesterday he was "very sad to hear that Jackie Flavelle has passed away", describing him as a "true legend of local music and a proper gentleman".

Former chairman of Belfast's Oh Yeah music centre John D'Arcy described him as "Mr Music himself".

He is survived by his daughters Lisa and Melanie and grandchildren Ben, Rosa and Noah.

The funeral will be at 5pm.

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