7 Feb 2010

Jazz legend Sir John Dankworth dies, aged 82

1:57 pm on 7 February 2010

Sir John Dankworth, a mainstay of the British jazz scene for over 60 years, has died in hospital.

The saxophonist was 82. He wrote the theme tune for The Avengers and served as musical director to the likes of Nat King Cole and Ella Fitzgerald.

Sir John, who was knighted in 2006, was married to singer Dame Cleo Laine. The couple met in 1950 while he was auditioning for singers with his band, the Dankworth Seven.

He also leaves a son and a daughter, both jazz musicians.

Sir John founded the London Symphony Orchestra Summer Pops in 1985, and was a fellow of the Royal Academy of Music.