Jazz Portrait: Pete Lay on Drums – A Giant of UK Jazz

Jazz portrait of Pete Lay on Drums

Since painting his jazz portrait on drums at the 2008 Ken Colyer Trust Autumn Jazz Parade in Hemsby, Norfolk, I’ve got to know Pete Lay well and count him as a very good friend. Pete is a man of few, yet incisive words, and a giant on the UK jazz scene, running his own band, The Gambit Jazzmen, organising a series of jazz festivals throughout the UK each year and producing Just Jazz, the monthly Traditional Jazz magazine.

Pete is very supportive of my jazz paintings and portraits and it’s very much due to him that in the past few years I’ve got more and more involved in the UK jazz scene. Hence, in 2010/11, I launched Jazz&Jazz.com, not just to promote my jazz art but especially to do what little I could to help publicise and promote Jazz. Since then I’ve even contributed articles to Just Jazz magazine.

Below is my fine art print and poem of my portrait of Pete on drums:

Fine art print of the jazz portrait of Pete Lay on Drums

Pete Lay on Drums
Genius Jazz
Drum roll, rhythmic beat
Pete Lay turns up the heat.

“The drummer is the foundation of the traditional jazz band. He is the man responsible for laying down the beat and keeping time.” Yet he takes a back seat hidden behind the trumpets, the trombones and the saxophones. In this portrait I’ve focused just on jazz drummer Pete Lay as his rhythmic beat turns up the heat.

Jazz&Jazz Copyright © 2008 Peter M Butler. All rights reserved.

I write a poem to accompany each fine art print of my jazz paintings and for Pete, this simple four line stanza sums up his prowess.

Fine Art Giclée Prints of this portrait are available, with or without my descriptive poem. Simply email: [email protected] to place your order and help support jazz.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for a great weekend at Mill Rythe Pete. Don’t know how you do it, you are a lovely man with Jill it makes tears come to my eyes the way you care for her. Best Wishes.

  2. Peter Butler says:

    I’ve passed the message on to Pete. I’m sure he would be interested to know who sent it!

    Peter Butler

  3. Rob Jones says:

    Hi Peter
    Went on to your site in search of Tommy Burton as mentioned by daughter Jackie.
    I must say that you have made Pete Lay look very old and with a lived in face.(I couldnt do any better)
    Otherwise I do like your kind of columns.
    Keep Jazzin and kind regards.
    Rob Jones, Hinckley

  4. Peter Butler says:

    No, Rob, not old! Just sanguine and a little serious. Pete approved. Thanks for taking a look at Jazz&Jazz, your comments are welcome any time on any subject and I’m not averse to criticism. Just pleased you are taking an interest. Peter

  5. Elva Brabham says:

    Malcolm Davies played jazz for many years and always spoke to Pete Lay on the many jazz events we attended. Malcolm died a few days ago and I wanted to let Pete Lay know – and anyone else who remembers Malcolm Davies – he used to play in the Ray Foxley’s Levee Ramblers
    The funeral is to be held on Tuesday 11th October 2016 at Bretby Crematorium near Burton on Trent at 11.30am followed by a get-together at The Red Lion in Newborough village nr Burton on Trent.
    Anyone interested please phone: 01283-575345

  6. Peter Butler says:

    I’ve passed this on to Pete, Elva.

  7. Peter Butler says:

    Pete has asked me to pass on the message to you that he remembers Malcolm well. Often talked about pianists! He thanks you for letting him know.

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