Beds, Herts & Bucks

Sir John Dankworth statue unveiled at The Stables

(L-R) Charlie Wood (Jacqui's husband), Jacqui Dankworth, Alec Dankworth, Dame Cleo Laine, Emily Dankworth (Jacqui's daughter). Image copyright Andy Handley MK News/Web
Image caption Members of Sir John Dankworth's family attended the unveiling

A sculpture of the late jazz musician Sir John Dankworth has been unveiled at the Buckinghamshire venue he founded.

The bronze figure by Scottish sculptor David Annand stands at the entrance to The Stables Theatre in Wavendon, Milton Keynes.

It was commissioned by trustees of the Wavendon Allmusic Plan (WAP), which he set up with his wife Cleo Laine to oversee the theatre's work.

She said it was a "fitting" honour.

Born in 1927, Sir John's career as a performer, composer and conductor spanned more than 50 years and earned him a CBE as well as a knighthood. He died in 2010.

He was 1949 Musician of the Year in Britain and worked as a leader of both small and big bands.

His hit records included Experiments with Mice in 1956 and African Waltz 1960, while his movie scores included those for Saturday Night and Sunday Morning and Modesty Blaise.

Image copyright Andy Handley MK News/Web
Image caption The statue was unveiled on Friday
Image caption Johnny Dankworth (second from left) and his quintet, played a new set of Paganini variations on the BBC in 1964

Sir John also served as musical director for artists including Nat "King" Cole and Ella Fitzgerald.

Musical 'vision'

Together with Dame Cleo, he turned outbuildings at their home into a venue for concerts and educational music activities and founded a charity to run it in 1969.

The current Stables Theatre opened its doors in 2000.

Image copyright Press Association
Image caption Sir John Dankworth performed From Bards To Blues as part of the 2007 BBC Proms Season

WAP chairman Stephen Clarke said: "He established the trust 45 years ago with the vision of making all music genres accessible to all people.

"That vision lives on and the current trustees hope that David Annand's wonderful sculpture will serve as a fitting tribute to their legacy, as well as bringing much pleasure to all our visitors."

Dame Cleo said: "It's fitting that John's contribution to music and music education has been honoured by the charity we established 45 years ago."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites