South East Wales

Jazz musician Mike Harries dies aged 85

Mike Harries

Welsh jazz musician Mike Harries has died at the age of 85.

The trombonist, best known as leader of his band The Root Doctors, had been performing since the late 1940s and was a regular at the Brecon Jazz Festival.

The Cardiff musician was known for his foot-tapping brand of traditional New Orleans-style jazz and his sharp wit before he retired from performing in 2013 because of ill health.

"We are absolutely devastated," said a statement from his band.

The father-of-four, a professional architect originally from Ynysybwl in Rhondda Cynon Taff, and married to wife Moya for more than 60 years, died on Monday.

The veteran jazz and bluesman was a staple of the south Wales music scene for 50 years in The Root Doctors, The Mike Harries Jazz Band and Adamant Band.

Sarah Campbell-Horner, who sang vocals with The Root Doctors, said Mike Harries "was just a joy".

"He was such a character," she said. "He was crazy in the best possible way.

"As a performer, he was no holds barred but it was a pleasure to be on stage with him."

Related Topics