British Trad musician Louis Lince has died at 77

Louis Lince
April 2018 (Photo Martin Snow)

British Trad banjoist Louis Lince died  February 3rd after a brief battle with cancer, he was 77. His career in music began in Skiffle groups in the 1950s, he then played with bands in London before pursuing a career outside of music. In the 1970s he reappeared as a member of Mac’s New Orleans Band, he also worked with the Dave Bailey Trio in Cambridge, Barry Palser’s Savoy Jazzmen, and the Ken Colyer All-Star’s.

With Terry Maton and John Petters he was a founder of CMJ Records, a label that produced releases from Kenny Davern, Wild Bill Davison, Art Hodes among other greats. In 1988 he returned to playing full time, forming Louis Lince’s New Orleans Band and New Imperial Parade Band, working groups he made available for all sorts of occasions.


He continued to record, found, or manage many of his own groups during the 90s and played with all star combos including Linda Young and Tuba Fats’ Chosen Few, and Monty Sunshine’s Band in its final years. He regularly played with several New Orleans notables on annual excursions to that city.

In 2002 he relocated to  Stockport, close to the area of his birth. There he led his New Orleans Irregulars and Louisiana Yard Dogs.

He also worked as a reviewer and than publisher of New Orleans Music magazine, and was a documentarian recording oral histories of jazz in the UK. He had not slowed down before his illness performing regularly and advocating for jazz. Projects that were ongoing at the time of his death are being picked up by others in a tribute to him.


Also see remembrances at:, and from John Petters


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