Burt Butler's

       Jazz Pilgrims

   Burtie has played with many musicians    and different bands.  Here is his

   Hall of Fame of  drummers                        

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  Musicians :   tpt   clt   tmb  bnj 
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                        John Cottis        Chris Marchant,       Robin Beames,        Mike Marsh,       Ted Backhouse.

                        Roy Neal       Mark Alexander      Barry Knight       Eddie Newport      Jimmy Tagford     Bill Ambro







                             Bill in his days with the Invicta Jazz Band, Mo Hovary Jazz Men, Tishomingo Jazz Band  and the Dave Bone Quartet

    Heres Bill playing                                               Girls Go Crazy                                              Jackass Blues            click on titles to listen
1980 with the Invicta Jazz band                     1980 with the Invicta Jazz band

My interest in jazz started at school with Arthur Robinson, who started the  Caves Jazz Club in Ramsgate with Dave Corsby. After leaving school I formed a skiffle group and played in the interval at John Kelk’s Jazz Club in Canterbury in the middle fifties. I bought my first drum kit whilst doing National Service at Sandwich. Joined the Tishomingo Jazz Band in 1957 – 1963, then I left the Tish to go commercial with Dave Bone and formed the Dave Bone Quartet with myself, Dave , Kay Nesbitt piano and Doug Inkpen on bass and we had two or three successful seasons at Imperial Hotel in Hythe.   After the DBQ I joined Peter Jon Trio when the famous Les Feast left to go fully commercial.  We played at Sarre Court Country Club,  Marie Celeste Club in Herne Bay  St Mildred's Westgate/Miramar Herne Bay.  I then left the area, returned and joined Mo Hovery's Band at the Smuggler's.  Mo retired from playing and the band became the Invicta Jazz Band under Phil Barnes.  Phil died prematurely.   I left the area again, over twenty years ago.    I now play at home for fun and bit of practice.


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                                    John Cottis - drums     John playing Hindustan, this was recorded live at The Globe in Morning
                                                                          Lane, Hackney, London. 12th March 2006 Rest of the band are Dave Stradwick tpt,
                                                                          Don York tmb, Roy Mason reeds, Burtie Butler bnj and Bernie Johnson bass.

Born in the East End of London just after the war, John was hooked on music from the early days of rock and roll. "Anything with a good beat, I loved it. I used to have a pair of wooden knitting needles from my Mum's sewing kit as a child and I would drum along to "Saturday Club" on the arms of the furniture. My first drum kit was one second-hand cymbal and a cardboard box. I eventually became a jazzer in the Trad boom of the early Sixties and was professional for a while with a ragtime banjo band." John moved to Kent in the early Seventies and has played with most of the local bands during the last thirty years on a strictly amateur basis. "I just love the music - a good tune and happy beat - you can't go wrong!" John ran the Invicta Jazz Band for a few years but his love of travel to Australia for months on end intervened and he now just occasionally deps for other drummers. It won't be long before the outback calls and he goes on walkabout again!

Here is John in different bands that he has played in and depped for:

                              Sheerness Carnival 1986                                                         Hastings Sea Front Expedia Marching Band 1989
         band members:                                                                                   band members:
         bottom L to R: tmb unkn, tmb Jim Gunton tmb,                             L to R: Tony Cardwell tmb, unkn bass drum, Alan Sokell sousa
        Mick Stansell tpt, Ivan Ganden alto sax, Mike Summers tpt.          John Cottis snare drm, Dave Link tpt, Burtie Butler bnj,
        Top L to R: Pete Drage tuba, John Cottis snare drm,                      and Jim Searson clt.
        snare drm unkn, Norman Haliday clt

                                               The Chislehurst Ramblers formerly known as "The Annie Street Jazz Band" mid 1980's
        Band Members:
                                  John Cottis drms, Ron Goulding tuba, Pete Warren bnj, Ken Atkinson piano,
                                                                                                       Bill Boston sax, Trevor Rose cornet and Arthur Gould trombone / vocal

                                    The Invicta Jazz Band                                                             The Semi Quavers   around the mid 1980's
        Band members:                                                                                  Band Members:
        Mike Porter-Ward bass, Kenny Pyrke tmb, Roy Mason clt             Roger Pitt tmb, unkn banjo, John Cottis drms, Gerry Birch sousa,
        John Cottis drms, Dave Bashford bnj, Dave link cornet.               Nigel Pitt cornet and unkn clarinet.

                          The Meridian City Jazz Band formed from "The Locksbottom Stompers" at The Crown Inn, Seal, Kent.
        Band members:
        Tubby Spicer bass, Ken Packer clt, Tim Jones tpt, trembling Mickey Mustoe tmb,
                                                                                                   John Cottis drms, Eric 'Sailor' Webster bnj and Jonathon Vinten piano.

          The Meridian City Jazz Band different line up mid 1980's             The New Orleans Echoes  1980's  at the Old Pembury Hospital
          Band members:                                                                                   Band members:
          Fred Hoare bass, Ken Packer clt, Dave Clennell tpt,                          John Roberts bass, Pete Curtis clt, Bob Jones cornet,
          John Cottis drms, Lyn Falvey voc, Eric Webster bnj,                          John Cottis drms, Sid Bailey tmb and Andy Maynard bnj.
          and  trembling Mickey Mustoe tmb.

                                     The Premier Jazz Band                                            The Royal Garden Jazz Band  at The Crown Inn, Seal, Kent.
         Band members:                                                                                  Band members:
         Jeff Hatton tpt, Richard Brennan sax, Geoff Williams tmb,          Andrew Wyllie sax, Jacqui Atkinson gtr, Dave Hutchins tpt,
                               and Barney Smith bass.                                              John Cottis drums, unkn bass and Bill Todd tmb.

                                                                      The Shanghai Syncopated Orchestra
                                                     Band members:
                                                  Geoff Bonner sax, Martyn Liston sax, Robin Eve tpt, Malcolm Walton tpt,
                                                               Stephan Hatfield violin, Steve Botting tmb, Ron Rackley bass,
                                                                      John Cottis drms and Bob Pluck banjo.
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 Barry Knight - percussion  Here is Barry's distinctive style of playing on these three tracks taken from the CD recorded
                                                                                  live at the 'Duke of Cumberland', High Street, Whitstable, Kent on the 21st December 2007
                                                                                  band members are: Mick Stansell tpt, Dennis Lear clt, Séan Maple tmb, Burtie Butler bnj,
                                                                                  Mike Porter-Ward bass and Barry drms.     so click on the titles to hear.

  Avalon               Marching through Georgia                Royal garden blues

Barry started playing drums in 1956 when he joined the Army as a cornet player! There was a group in the band who also played modern jazz and they didn't have a drummer at the time so he thought he'd have a go on the drums and was invited to join the jazz group. He then enrolled at the Ivor Merrants School of Dance Music and his first paid job was at the Grand Hotel, Folkestone. Played with 14 piece Glen Miller styleband, which entertained the Yanks at Manston. Became regimental drummer in the Army and moved to Cyprus. Also played with a popular 4 piece in nightclub in Nicosia. When demobbed returned to UK and joined Musicians Union getting gigs from the Vacant Date book all around London and the South East. Did a lot of Ladies Nights, tea dances, some West End work and the usual pubs and clubs. In 1968 and joined a function band which occupied most of the 70's and then joined a traditional jazz band where he stayed for some time. In between times he has played in brass bands, 20's dance bands, German Oompah bands and concert bands.Over the last few years he has concentrated on Traditional /New Orleans Jazz which has been his main love. Highlight has been playing in Bourbon Street, New Orleans with Burt!

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                                                               Ashford Jazz Week/End   2009                                           Bombay Harbour - PO Ship ORSOVA - 1967

Jimmy Tagford – Drummer

Jimmy has been a professional Drummer since 1965, He started with the ship’s orchestras of P&O Orient Lines, making regular visits to the USA, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong and circling the globe three times. Subsequently, Jimmy worked with Gerry Rafferty (of Baker Street fame); Billy Connolly; Singer/ impressionist Faith Brown and david Essex before commencing a six year residency at the Latin Quarter night club in London’s West End.

Apart from playing with most of the top Kent Jazz Bands, since leaving London and settling in Folkestone, Jimmy has toured with singers Frankie Vaughan and Vince Hill, the Ink Spots, Eartha Kitt; toured and recorded 2 CD’s with reedsman John Crocker (from the Chris Barber Band) and played with top British modern jazz artists Pete King, Don Weller, Dick Pearce, Bobby Wellins and Derek Nash. And……played for pantomimes up and down the country as well as various musicals – West Side Story, Annie, Me & My Girl, Kiss Me Kate, Barnim etc.

Jimmy’s favourite drummers are Buddy Rich, Jake Hanna, Jo Jones, Oliver Jackson, Grady Tate, Big Sid Catlett, George Wettling, Mel Lewis, Jeff Hamilton, Gene Krupa, Jack Sperling, Alvin Stoler, Joe Morello, Ed Thigpen……..well, all of them realyy !!!!!!!!!!                    Contact Jimmy 01303 258055                                              

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Jimmy Tagford

Here is Jimmy playing with the John Crocker Quartet from the LP 'Easy Living'

                                                                          Avalon                                                    Lady Be Good

                                           Personnel :   John Crocker  clt / alto / Tenor                      Roger Munns piano

                                                               Viv Pitt bass                                                Jimmy Tagford   drms

                          comments from John on the numbers:
                          Avalon: One of the numbers I played as a featured solo with the Chris Barber Band is included in response to many requests
                                          Roger and Vic take fine solos and Jimmy shows why his drumming is so much in demand.

                          Lady Be Good:   Roger, Vic and Jimmy swing Gershwins Lady Be Good mightily - glad I was along for the ride


            1958 at the Royal Mortar              1985 with Tony King’s MLJB               1992 at the Holiday Camp    

           Eddy Newport  - Drums and Washboard  Here is Eddie playing THE SHEIK of ARABY with him playing the washboard. It's a bit different
                                                                            to the usual.  In Germany with the Mainline Jazz Band  he became a bit of a star playing this as the
                                                                            Germans have never seen a washboard being played before. Of course they could have been just
                                                                            taking the piss. Nevertheless he  enjoyed it at the time.

                                                                            The Shiek of Araby       click on title to hear

                                                                            band members : Tony King tpt,  Rod Hayes tmb,  Mark Southwell clt
                                                                                                       Steve Morgans  piano/voc, Pete Thomas bass and Eddy wbrd.

I was born December 1940 and got into music at the age of 16 when a few school mates bought a couple of guitars and started to play and sing Lonnie Donegan songs. Being unable to tune a guitar let alone be able to play one, I bought a snare drum and a cymbal and joined in the fun. Another mate made a tea chest bass and the Ramblers Skiffle Group was formed. We rehearsed in my works canteen in Woolwich in the evenings and did our first gig (a cabaret spot) for the company’s dinner and dance.  The dance band drummer, who was playing at the gig, asked if I would like to use his drum kit. And my love affair with drums started there. Also being paid 10 shilling for the gig was another incentive to get into the music seine. I had some lessons from a pro drummer and he got me on the straight and narrow playing wise. I worked with a lady pianist in a pub, The Royal Mortar in Beresford Square Woolwich, one of the roughest pubs you could imagine. I was 18 she was in her 70’s and she told me she used to play for silent films at the local cinemas. I joined the “Hot Club of  London” a Jazz Club that was on a Sunday evening in Powis St run by George Webb. I had the privilege of hearing and seeing Chris Barber, Acker Bilk, Cy Laurie, Mike Danels, a very young 14 year old Sammy Rimmington and many more. From then on I wanted to play in a Jazz Band. Later on I worked with a dance band at the Bell Grove Social Club in Welling, a good grounding for tempos and playing different types of rhythms. A new job offer, I then moved to Chatham in 1964 and got into the local music seine and the rest is history. My main influences were Louis Belson, Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa, Jo Morello and Chico Hamilton and of course all the pro trad drummers I saw at the Hot Club. In those days you were either a TRADIE or a MODIE and never the twain shall meet. I loved it all I had friends in both camps and I dare not let on that I liked the “other stuff” as well as their music. After many years of playing in Medway bands and pop groups I finely joined Tony King in the Mainline Jazz Band and after that I gigged with the Thameside Stompers.  I “turned pro”   in 1992 and did a summer season in a holiday camp at Mundesley in Norfolk with a key board player and worked 7 nights a week for 7 months, with nothing to do all day I was so laid back I was horizontal. My wife hated it I loved it, but I would not do it for a living. I did it because I was on the dole for two years and at the time I had to undergo a major career change, but that’s another story.  I am retired and now play with the Moonlight Sounds an 18 piece rehearsal band run by Rod Hayes playing big band arrangements and am getting to grips with drum music, this is the last music challenge of my life.

 Eddy Newport Sept 2008


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                                                                                              Chris Marchant - Drums

I first got interested in jazz at the age of fifteen when I was in the scouts. There were six of us who wanted to start a band. We all had listened to skiffle and rock and roll, but thought it all a bit naff, but four of us had uncles that had musical instruments tucked away in the attic, so there was music in the family and also the intruments dictated what we were to learn and the White Bridge Jazz Band was formed - that band lasted until 2003 with the untimely departure of two of us. In 1963, 43 years ago, I joined the Frog Island Jazz Band and I am still with them; also I had 14 years at the Rutland Arms, Catford. We had the regular three - George Bridges bass, Steve Howlett clarinet and myself, the other three from the wide circle of musicians. I am also the regular drummer for the Goin Home Band and have played in the U.S.A., all over Europe and the U.K. with most musicians of notable standing.

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                                Robin Beames - drums and vocals   Robin a great mate of mine, has a wonderful singing voice, this particular track
                                                                                           is a great favourite of mine Love Letters in the Sand this was recorded at Langlei
                                                                                           Studios, Rainham, Kent 25th Feb 1999, with The Canterbury Jazz Pilgrims. Band
                                                                                           members are: Bill Phelan crt, Jim Searson reeds, John Finch tmb, Alan Kennington
                                                                                           bass and Burtie Butler bnj.    so click on to Robs name and listen to some fine brush
                                                                                           work and a great vocal. 
Born in 1940, his first interest in music was in 1953 when he joined a cadet band as a drummer and, after three years, became RASC junior leader of the trumpeters and snare drummer sections. In 1960 he became the RASC Corps Band percussionist. In 1960 he enjoyed the early rock & roll music, which influenced most jazz musicians, though they would not admit it! In 1963 he left the Army and became interested in traditional jazz. He formed his first band with Edwin "Boots" Baker, John Cowdrey, Roger Ely, Humphrey Mayes and Bob Long, and they called themselves the South Side Jazz Band. In 1968 he returned to play in the "pop" scene and a dance music quartet. From 1976, like many others, he caught the New Orleans bug from listening to Ken Colyer, although still playibng rock & roll. In 1986 he set up the Headcorn Jazz club with a band called the New Orleans Jazzmen. This eventually became the Imperial Jazz Band and is still going strong. Memorable moments include playing behind Humphrey Lyttelton, Pat Halcox, Randy Colville, Roy Williams, and many more. Robin's favourite pastimes are drinking, whilst eating copious amounts of curry! He is also part-time drum and percussion teacher with the Kent Music School.

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Roy Neal - drums

                                                             Roy - 1964                                R.M.S. Queen Mary (give away photo's)                     Roy -  a few years later
                                                                                                                               Roy Neal - drums

Had a yearning for the drums  from early teens. Use to play along with the Jack Parnall  band on the wireless imitating the drummer with clothes brushes and a biscuit tin.
Went  to the Army cadets at the Drill Hall in Chatham to learn the rudiments of drumming. With the help of my Mother bought some drums for Ten shillings whilst still at
school  ( Rochester Technical ). Played at a local Youth club then joined a local Jazz band "Crescent City Stompers" and played at "The Good Intent" public house in Chatham with the great Pitt brothers, ( then just very young boys ) as their father was the landlord. Met Ronnie Verrel ( Ted Heaths drummer ) who lived near me, he taught me various drumming techniques. Into various Jazz bands. In 1957 the Royal Air Force for three years,  Joined the "Tuxedo Jazz Band" in 1961. In 1963 with the "Ron Buckley Trio" had an
audition with with Peter Summerfield agent for the 'Springfields' and 'Carl Denver Trio' made a tape which he considered was good enough to approach Decca Records. Never
made Decca due to arguments with band wives re: turning professional, thus band broke up. I was set on becoming professional so after an audition in  London I joined 'Cunard Steamships'. I went on to their Cruise ships first then on to the R.M.S. Queen Mary until she was sold to the Americans. Home in England I played with various groups did
session work in London. I formed my own group "Neil Lawrence Quartet" playing Medway and London areas. Sold my drums in 1968 went into Graphic Art. Off to London in
1970 worked as display manager for Stanley Gibbons and then the same for Trust Houses Forte. Played several gigs with hired drums in London, but in later years developed arthritis in my shoulders and fingers. I can still play but not so fast.

                                                                                                                   click here for Roys website

                                                                                                                  Back on the road again 2010

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 Mark Alexander – Drums – Born 1942

 He started playing the trumpet whilst at school in the mid-1950s. Joined the Canterbury City Jazz Band on leaving school and thereafter played trumpet with various bands including Halliday’s Eagle Band and Kid Webster’s Band. Highlight of jazz career was an extensive tour of Belgium in 1966 when he was asked for an autographed photo of
himself by an attractive young girl! He switched to drums in 1970 and is the regular drummer with The Vocalian Jazz Band, The Roseleaf Ramblers and The Liberty Hall Jazz
Band. His favourite jazz is the music of the New Orleans dance halls as played by, among others, Kid Thomas, Peter Bogage, etc. When not playing, or listening to, jazz, he
can be found selling model railways in The Hobby Shop in Faversham.          www.hobb-e-mail.com   

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                                                                                               Mike Marsh - Drums

" The younger you are when you start learning a musical instrument the better ." True, so the fact that I started at the age of 31 expains a lot. With just high-hat and side drum and two mates from work on guitars, we rehearsed three popular tunes of the day and played at a birthday party in Ramsgate. The partygoers thought it was wonderful.They were so stoned that they didn't notice we played those same three songs all night. Encouraged by this I bought a complete kit and joined a local established dance band. Their departing drummer auditioned me for for the job. He told me I wasn't very good but I was the only applicant. He gave me a few lessons and introduced me to the Louis Armstrong in Dover where all the local jazz musicians regularly jammed. Sitting in with them I was encouraged and supported, especially by Bill Barnacle, and learned fast. I left the dance band after one year, joined the Bod Bowles Band, also a busy quartet and Whirligig, a jazz-rock seven piece. I was lucky to be part of Bill's band from the start, I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

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                                                     Ted Backhouse - Drums
  here is Ted playing ' St. Louis Blues' in a recording at The Thomas A'Beckett pub
                                                                                               in Canterbury, Kent for BBC Radio Kent in 1972 . Band members are:
Mo Hovery tpt, Frank Packman clt, Charlie Banyard tmb, Jim Beale piano,
                                                                                               Les Biggs gtr, Roger Link bass and Ted Backhouse drms. 
As a small lad I was always interested in playing drums and eager to become a musician , when I joined the oldest sea cadet unit in the world - T S Vigilant Unit no 363 in
Whitstable the year 1950. I was too small to carry a drum in the parade so for the first year, I was chief triangle player, but I attended every band practice and by the time I had
filled out a little, I felt that I could play all the snare drum parts. After much tuition and practice I became leading drummer in the band and enjoyed all the local carnivals and
parades and we also had moderate success in area band competitions. After national service in the R.A.F. I bought my first drum kit (still got it ) and rehearsed and practised
in my cousin Robin Mowday's front room - 70 Nelson Road, Whitstable on Sunday afternoons with a variety of like minded starters. We were all keen jazz fans and met most Wednesdays at the Bear and Key Jazz club, I even had the cheek to ask to sit in on a couple of numbers on Bill Ambro's drum kit. With Robin Mowday, John Holbrow, Dave
Victor and Roy Kendall we formed a dance band , but we were not all that successful but from the experience I did a few gigs with the Norman Perkins dance band and had a
couple of years with the George Dunn Band before he retired. I was proud to be asked to join Mo Hovery's Jazzmen in the late 60's, when Bill Ambro moved away from the district , and we had many happy sessions at the Smugglers Inn - Herne Village, Kent - the line up when I joined was Mo Hovery tpt/flugal, Frank Packman clt/saxs, Charlie Banyard tmb, Roger Link string bass and Roy Gaston-Williams piano. The line up changed slightly over a few years when Dave Corsby, Sean Maple, Pete Gresham, Ron Woodward and Mike King were used. I was disappointed to lose my position when Bill Ambro moved back to the area in the early 70's. I then had a long and enjoyable music career with two very dear friends, who have since passed on as a pop group "Oyster" - ' Music for all ages ' - Mick Lund lead guitar and vocals and Bruce Watneys bass guitar and backing vocals and some three part harmonies. I well remember one riotous / boozy weekend I had when the Kid Webster Jazz Band were short of a drummer for a tour of Belgium around 1965. the band was Frank and Charlie Webster, Norman Halliday, Mark Alexander, Derek and myself all in a Vauxhall - the string bass and bass drum strapped to the roof rack - ahh - Happy Days !!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ted Backhouse
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