Remembering Russell Bennett

 

Russ and Rich at their last 100 Club Concert.

 

Back in October Jazz&Jazz featured

 

Russell Bennett – A Jazz Legend in His Lifetime

 

A Memorial Trust has been launched in Russell’s name. Its aims are to give financial support to musicians playing or who have played in the British Traditional jazz style, who, through no fault of their own, are unable to play. This also includes support for their immediate families.

The Russell Bennett Memorial Trust

 

In May of 2014, our jazz family was saddened to hear that Karl Hird had been stricken with cancer. Karl had given such pleasure to the jazz circuit with his talents on clarinet and saxophone that an idea formed on how to help him and his partner, Claudia, through his treatments and into remission.

A round-robin email went out to bandleaders asking for ‘seed money’ to purchase items that could be raffled off at all of the Pete Lay Jazz Festival weekends for the rest of that year. The response was remarkable. And so, we went ahead with the plan. We were able to raise a substantial amount of money to help Karl and Claudia in the time that Karl was unable to play, thus unable to earn.

Also during that time, we were approached by Ray and Jenny Knight about forming a trust that could offer financial assistance to musicians and their families when circumstances beyond their control arise. Ray and Jenny gave a generous donation to add to the fund and Ray dedicated many hours to research and the setup of a trust.

Sadly, in October of 2015, we lost Russell Bennett, another young musician on the jazz circuit. Russ’s loss galvanised the movement to get the trust up and running. With the approval of his family, the trust was named The Russell Bennett Memorial Trust.

People were approached, a board was decided upon and the trust charter was written and ratified.

Our mission is to help musicians playing or who have played in the British Traditional jazz style and for their immediate families who experience financial hardship for whatever reason.

The Trust is funded through raffles, donations and sales of CDs, books and records. We are also offering people the opportunity to make monthly donations through standing orders as well as naming the Trust in a bequest.

Helping comes naturally to the Jazz family, and we thank you for your continued
support in this endeavour.

John Maddocks (chairman) Jenny Knight (secretary)
Heather Balon Lay (treasurer) Diane Wilkins (member-at-large)

Russell starring at the Pete Lay’s Hemsby Autumn Jazz Parade.

Russell Bennett Memorial Trust

The Trustees are pleased to announce that the Russell Bennett Memorial Trust is now operational and they are happy to receive any requests for support or assistance.

This financial support is for musicians playing or who have played in the British Traditional jazz style, who, through no fault of their own, are unable to play. This also includes support for their immediate families.

Applications must be in writing to the Trust’s secretary, Jenny Knight, c/o 7 Saxon Bank, Braintree,
Essex, CM7 1XZ

Donations: Please send to the Treasurer, Heather Balon Lay, c/o 92 Mid Street, South Nutfield, Surrey, RH1 4JH. Cheques should be made out to: – Russell Bennett Memorial Trust

I treasure this iconic photo I took at Hemsby of Russell and Richard in Jazz Juxtaposition

Peter M Butler
Editor & Proprietor Jazz&Jazz

(Photos© Peter M Butler, Jazz&Jazz)

Comments

  1. Peter Butler says:

    I’ll never forget the time at Hemsby Autumn Jazz Parade when I sneaked behind stage and discovered Russ cutting into a large delicious cake a fan had given him. Turning to me he asked: “Want a slice? It’s very good!” It was scrumptious!

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