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Goodbye Mr Jazz

PUBLISHED: 17:15 01 April 2010 | UPDATED: 11:32 12 August 2010

HUNDREDS of fans turned out to pay their respects to a self-taught pianist dubbed the father of traditional jazz.

HUNDREDS of fans turned out to pay their respects to a self-taught pianist dubbed the father of traditional jazz.

Residents from across both Bromley and Bexley attended the funeral of George Webb, credited with reviving traditional jazz in Britain in the 1940s brought Sidcup High Street to a standstill on Tuesday afternoon, as a jazz band led the hearse, followed by hundreds of mourners.

Mr Webb, from Erith, who died on March 11 at the age of 92, first began playing in the Red Barn pub in Barnehurst in 1944, with a band he formed with friends.

Ian Tickner, 72, from Petts Wood, said: "He was regarded as the grandfather of traditional jazz."

Retired engineer Jim Sales, 81, from Swanley, who was at the funeral, said: "I am one of the originals from the old Red Barn in the 1940s. It is where it all started from. Everybody knew George."

Webb, who was born in Camberwell worked at the Vickers factory in Crayford, assembling machine guns. There, he put on concerts by other musicians and later founded the Dixielanders, who played 1920s New Orleans jazz.

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