May 22 2013 Latest news:
Jessica Earnshaw, Reporter
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
A 400-strong crowd gathered for the funeral of a jazz legend this week, giving him the “perfect send-off” and including live performances from three groups.
Trumpeter Kenny Ball, who lived in Emerson Park for many years, was 82 when he died in hospital on March 7 after catching pneumonia.
A “New Orleans-style” funeral was held on Tuesday at Herongate Wood Cemetery, Billericay Road, Brentwood.
Kenny’s son Keith Ball, who is also a jazz musician, said: “It was unbelievable to see everyone there and so many people came up to me and told me it was the best funeral they had been to.
“It was the perfect send-off and was a celebration like he would have wanted. We wanted it to be a funeral like you see in the films.”
The funeral included the song Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye and ended with Kenny’s best known hit, Midnight in Moscow.
Keith added: “My father was such a warm and kind-hearted man and how he would talk to anyone and was very down to earth.”
The musician leaves behind his wife Betty and three children.
Click on the gallery to the right to see more pictures from the day.