Son of jazz legend Kenny Ball, formerly of Emerson Park, vows to keep legacy alive

Kenny Ball

Kenny Ball - Credit: Archant

The son of jazz legend Kenny Ball said he will keep the musician’s legacy going, following the 82-year-old’s death this morning.

Keith Ball, also a jazz musician, told the Recorder: “I’ve lost my best friend. I’ll now be keeping his band alive and his legacy going, he always said the “show must go on”.”

The 82-year-old died peacefully after suffering from pneumonia for several months.

“He was with my mum Betty and my two sisters when he passed away at 7.35am this morning,” Keith said.

“Basildon Hospital were fantastic I can’t thank them enough.”


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The musician, originally from Ilford, moved to Emerson Park in 1968 and spent many years there. He was living in Wickford, Basildon, before his illness.

Last October he performed a sell out show at the Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch.

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He had reunited with Keith’s mum Betty around four years ago after the pair married in the early 1950s before separating later and Kenny remarrying.

Keith added of Betty and Kenny: “They were true loves.”

“I know he’s up there playing with Louis Armstrong right now. Knowing him he was probably up there moaning that he wasn’t met at the gates with a gin and tonic,” he said.

Keith will be taking his father’s place at a concert in Grantham, Lincolnshire, tomorrow night.

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