R.I.P. Australian Jazz Great Graeme Bell - Noise11.com
Graeme Bell - Photo By Ros O'Gorman

Graeme Bell - Photo By Ros O'Gorman

R.I.P. Australian Jazz Great Graeme Bell

by Paul Cashmere on June 14, 2012

in News

Graeme Bell, one of the founding father’s of Australian jazz, has died at the age of 97.

Graeme Bell - Photo By Ros O'Gorman

Graeme Bell - Photo By Ros O'Gorman

Graeme was born in Richmond, Melbourne in 1914. His father John performed musical comedy and music hall on the ABC radio and his mother Mary was a contralto recitalist with Dame Nellie Melba. He was 11 when he learned piano.

Graeme Bell started his recording career in the 1940s and in 1947 released the ‘Czechoslovak Journey’ through Supaphon Records in Prague.

That led to a tour of the UK in 1948 where he founded the Leicester Square Jazz Club.

In 1955 Graeme returned to Australia and settled in Sydney in 1957. When The Who’s rock opera Tommy was performed in Australia in March 1973 Graeme played The Narrator.

Graeme’s younger brother Roger was also a Jazz musician. Roger died in 2008.

Graeme Bell has been recognised for his services to music twice by Queen Elizabeth II. In 1978 he was awarded the Member of the British Empire (MBE) and then in 1990 an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO). ARIA inducted him into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 1997.

Australia’s Jazz Music Awards are named The Bells after Graeme.

He married three times. He is survived by third wife Dorothy, daughter Christina, son Jason and two granddaughters.

Comments

comments

Related Posts

Graeme Bell. photo by Ros O'Gorman, Noise11, Photo
Jazz Bell Awards 2015 Nominations Now Open

Nominations for the Jazz Bell Awards for 2015 are now open.

December 9, 2014
Graeme Bell - Photo By Ros O'Gorman
Jazz Bell Awards Nominees Announced

The 2014 Australian Jazz Bell Awards will be announced in Melbourne on May 1 and the nominees have now been officially announced.

April 17, 2014
Graeme Bell. photo by Ros O'Gorman, Noise11, Photo
2013 Australian Jazz Bell Awards Winners Announced In Melbourne

The 2013 Australian Jazz Bell Awards were handed out in Melbourne tonight with David Ades picking up two awards and Marc Hannaford winning Most Original Jazz album Award.

May 2, 2013
Graeme Bell. photo by Ros O'Gorman, Noise11, Photo
Dorothy Bell Honours Husband Graeme At Australian Jazz Bell Awards

Dorothy Bell, the widow of Australian jazz great Graeme Bell honoured her late husband at the11th annual Australian Jazz Bell Awards held in Melbourne tonight (May 2, 2013).

May 2, 2013
Graeme Bell - Image By Ros O'Gorman, Noise11, Photo
2013 Jazz Bell Award Nominees Announced

The 2013 Jazz Bell Awards will be handed out in Melbourne on May 2. Nominees for the 11th Jazz Bell Awards have been announced.

April 15, 2013
Graeme Bell. photo by Ros O'Gorman, Noise11, Photo
Australian Jazz Bell Award Winners Announced

The Australian Jazz Bell Awards celebrated its 10th anniversary with a gala dinner and awards ceremony last night at Melbourne’s Plaza Ballroom.

May 4, 2012