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Interviews

Here you can read over 600 separate interviews and profiles of jazz artists.  

This includes nearly 200 interviews with visiting American and British jazz artists by Les Tomkins (see below) recorded between 1963 and 1987 for Crescendo magazine.  The interview transcripts and profiles are arranged alphabetically below and you can explore them using the search facility, or simply scroll through the index.

 

Les Tomkins (1930 – 2020)

All of the interviews by Les Tomkins were recorded over a period of some thirty years and were transcribed by Les himself. Tomkins was born on 31 October 1930 and was a journalist, singer and jazz aficionado. 

Tomkins started a Monday-night jazz club in Sutton, near London, in 1950, in which many British jazz stars performed. In 1957 he became the secretary of the Contemporary Jazz Society, and remained so until 1960.

During this time he began interviewing jazz musicians in his club, especially well known American artists visiting the UK, something he often did at Ronnie Scott’s during the 1960s. Some of these interviews were published by the contemporary jazz newspaper Melody Maker. Between 1961-2 he freelanced as a contributor to Jazz Newsthen in 1962 he began a long association with Crescendo magazine which lasted more than 20 years.

By 1966 Les was Crescendo’s editor and art editor and from 1970 he continued as a freelance editor, contributor, and art director to the magazine. Over the years he has recorded, and published, over one thousand interviews with jazz musicians and you can hear an interview with Les Tomkins taken for the National Jazz Archive in 2016. Les Tomkins died on 26 April 2020.

 

 

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