Ronnie Scott’s marks Tubby Hayes’ 80th

A special concert by the Simon Spillett Quartet featuring Bobby Wellins will be held at Ronnie Scott’s to mark Tubby Hayes’ 80th birthday

With 30 January 2015 marking what would have been British sax player Tubby Hayes’ 80th birthday, a special concert will be held at Ronnie Scott’s on Sunday 1 February to pay tribute to the saxophonist’s body of work.

Performed by a quartet led by Simon Spillett (pictured) and featuring ex-Tubby Hayes alumni John Critchinson (piano), Dave Green (bass) and Spike Wells (drums) plus guest and friend of Hayes Bobby Wellins (tenor sax), the concert will include compositions and arrangements from albums such as The Jazz Couriers In Concert, Tubbs In New York and Mexican Green, as well as standards and ballads associated with Hayes.

Born in 1935 in St Pancras, London, Tubby Hayes started playing sax at 11 years old after being inspired by the sound of Dizzy Gillespie, going on to perform professionally from the age of 16 in Kenny Baker’s sextet. He co-led The Jazz Couriers with Ronnie Scott from 1957 to 1959 and became a major figure in postwar jazz both in the UK and the US, playing with the likes of Duke Ellington. He died in 1973 at 38 after complications during heart surgery.

Simon Spillett, who will lead the concert, is the author of The Long Shadow Of The Little Giant: The Life, Work And Legacy Of Tubby Hayes, which will be published by Equinox in March 2015. A new film documentary about the late saxophonist will also be released this year, for which Simon Spillett has acted as consultant: Tubby Hayes: A Man In A Hurry by Mark Baxter and Lee Cogswell, narrated by Martin Freeman.

The concert at Ronnie Scott’s will be held at 12pm with Sunday lunch available to order; tickets are from £12 to £15. Book online at or call the box office on 020 7439 0747.

Sally Evans-Darby

Photo by John Watson

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