Town’s jazz legends scoop awards

Dennis Rollins
Dennis Rollins

TWO of Doncaster’s most treasured music legends scooped two highly-coveted accolades at this year’s Yorkshire Jazz Awards.

Dennis Rollins’ Velocity Trio was named as band of the year at the annual awards at a ceremony at the Dean Clough Mills in Halifax.

The Doncaster-born trombonist, a former pupil of the Doncaster Youth Jazz Association (DYJA), is returning to his home town later this month.

Another winner at the awards was Dennis’ former teacher, John Ellis MBE, who has spent nearly four decades dedicated to the Yorkshire jazz scene.

He was recognised for services to jazz. He said: “It was a really lovely evening. It was fantastic to see Dennis’ work recognised. He’s one of the greats of Doncaster. There’s a lot of live music in the town and it’s brilliant when people don’t forget their roots.

“Dennis regularly comes back to the DYJA and helps out. He’s always willing to give something back.”

In a dedication at the awards ceremony, the audience heard how John decided to open up his classroom on Wednesday nights for any kids who wanted to come and learn to play jazz and blues.

Those Wednesdays nights went on to transform thousands of peoples’ lives, and create successive generations of the best UK musicians.

Dennis Rollins Velocity Trio - which also features organ virtuoso Ross Stanley and drummer Pedro Segundo - is coming to the Doncaster Civic Theatre on April 25 at 8pm. Tickets £14 and £12 concessions, with under 18s for £6.