Sammy Rimington’s International Band

Sammy Rimington Jnr shoulder to shoulder with his famous father in a concert with his New Orleans All Star Band at Chilham, Kent, on 6 February, 2010. (Photo by P.M.Butler, Art&Verse)

Back in 1959 Sammy Rimington played with Barry Martyn’s band. His spectacular jazz career as a professional musician with Ken Colyer’s band started in 1960. In those years my lifelong friend Roger followed his gigs in Kent so when Sammy was booked to appear with his International Jazz Band at the 2008 Ken Colyer Trust Hemsby Autumn Jazz Festival in Norfolk, it didn’t take much persuading for me to join Roger at the festival.

Since then I’ve made a point of keeping up with Sammy, who now lives in Sweden, and his International Jazz Band during their UK winter tours. His concerts of Hymns and Spirituals in the New Orleans Style at Folkestone’s United Reformed Church have been nothing short of inspirational and his Trad Jazz gigs at Chilham Village Hall always pack in the fans.

Trefor Williams on bass, Eric Webster on banjo, Emile van Pelt on piano, Frederic John on trombone and Keith Minter on drums are all jazz virtuosos in their own right but to quote The New York Times: “Sammy Rimington’s playing demonstrates the clarinet’s matchless range of funky virtuosity, which makes jazz’s past as real as its future.”

And indeed, Sammy is every bit as dedicated to the future of jazz as he is to continually surpassing his own brilliance. I witnessed this for myself at the 2008 Hemsby Festival when he invited emerging star Amy Roberts, then barely 19, onto the stage to accompany him in a saxophone duet. The next morning I overheard him stressing the need to to persuade Amy to stay with jazz: “Amy’s got a natural talent and feel for the music. She’s got rhythm. She’s the future of jazz.”

Some accolade from a legend of jazz who has performed with Louis Nelson, Big Jim Robinson, Chris Barber, Kid Thomas Valentine and Captain John Handy.

I count it a privilege to have painted a portrait of Sammy in duet with Amy and indeed, portraits of each member of the International Jazz Band. Trefor Williams paid me a huge compliment:

“What a pleasant surprise to receive your portrait of me. I’m very flattered that you considered me a worthy subject. Thank you for devoting your time and talent. It’s a very thoughtful study and the words are very touching. May God continue to bless you and your very special gift”

Sammy Rimington’s website is at:

You can listen to Sammy and explore some of his music at:

"Eyes on the Master" - portrait of Sammy in duet with rising star Amy Roberts.

Hand signed, fine art prints of the Art & Verse jazz portrait of Amy and Sammy can be purchased in two sizes:

A4 (297x210mm) £29.00
A3 (420x297mm) £39.00

A Certificate of Authenticity is issued with each print. If you would like to purchase a print or an original acrylic portrait or to commission a portrait, please email me at: [email protected]

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