Bill Le Sage

b. William Le Sage, 20 January 1927, London, England, d. 31 October 2001, London, England. From the mid-40s onwards Le Sage was a popular figure on the London jazz scene, leading his own group and also building a long association with John Dankworth. Le Sage grew up in a musical family, learning to play the ukulele, piano and drums. He formed his own sextet in 1945, but a period of national service with the Royal Signals saw him playing in army bands for three years. In March 1950 he joined the Johnny Dankworth Seven as pianist, and shortly afterwards began playing vibraphone, the instrument with which he later became associated. During the 50s and 60s he played with bands led by Tony Kinsey, Kenny Baker, Ronnie Ross, Jack Parnell and Chris Barber, and also led his own groups.

In 1969, he formed his Bebop Preservation Society band which remained in existence on-and-off over the next three decades. During this period he also worked with many of the UK’s leading contemporary jazz artists including Barbara Thompson’s Jubiaba and Martin Drew. He later worked with pianist Tony Lee’s group and Charlie Watts’ big band, in addition to his continuing involvement with Dankworth and Cleo Laine and his own Echoes Of Brazil and the Genetically Modified Quintet. Alongside his playing career, Le Sage also wrote music for a number of television shows.

    London, England
  • BORN
    20 Jan 1927

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