New blue plaque for John Dankworth

A new blue plaque at Sir John Dankworth’s childhood home in Waltham Forest was unveiled to the public on 10 May

Sir John Dankworth CBE was honoured with the unveiling of a new blue plaque at his childhood home of 16 Hollywood Way, Highams Park, London on 10 May, celebrating his life as a jazz composer, bandleader and musician.

Among the attendees to witness the unveiling were Dame Cleo Laine, Alec and Jacqui Dankworth, and Digby Fairweather. The plaque was placed outside the house where John Dankworth spent much of his early years growing up in the 1930s.

Jacqui Dankworth, pictured right, commented: “It’s very special that this tribute to Dad has been put up.” The couple’s granddaughter, Emily, currently studying at the Guildhall School of Music, added: “It’s lovely to see him honoured in this way. What he and my grandmother achieved has obviously inspired lots of the family to follow in their footsteps.”

The plaque was a joint effort between Waltham Forest Council and the National Jazz Archive, with the full text reading: “The celebrated jazz musician, bandleader, composer and international jazz ambassador lived here in his early years.”

It replaces the previous plaque that erroneously referred to him as a “saxiphinist”, of which Dame Cleo remarked: “He was very on the ball with spelling. He’d be very happy it’s now correct.” (More on this story in the June print edition of Jazz Journal.)

Sally Evans-Darby

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