HM Queen Elizabeth II

We are deeply saddened to hear of the death of Her Majesty The Queen.

HM The Queen was a steadfast supporter of the arts, and of music in particular, and was, surprisingly, a noted jazz and blues fan. She met and honoured many of our music’s leading exponents, from Duke Ellington to Dame Cleo Laine, Gary Crosby and the late John Cumming.

At their meeting at Leeds Civic Hall in 1958, Duke Ellington was inspired to compose The Queen’s Suite for her, which remained unheard by the general public until 1976. Gary Crosby OBE, who joined us earlier this year as a guest on mjf’s Fantasy Festival podcast, speaks of his surprise and joy at their recent discussion about amplifying acoustic instruments.

We will all have our own thoughts and recollections on the impact of her remarkable reign and its legacy. Our thoughts and condolences are with the Royal Family, and with all those touched by her passing, at this very sad time.