We are very sad to hear of the peaceful passing of Eddie Harvey on the evening of the 9th October. Eddie was a much loved and crucially important figure in the UK jazz scene, especially with regards to his work in reforming jazz education in the country.
A talented musician himself on both trombone and piano as well as a composer, who spent much of his early career performing with a number of high profile British and American groups (he was a founding member of the Johnny Dankworth Seven), Eddie was one of the UK's first jazz educators. Throughout the 1970s he directed a number of jazz summer schools, and from 1985 until 2003 he was Head of Jazz at the London College of Music.
He worked for the Arts Council of England and was a member on their Music Panel for several years, helped design the Jazz Piano syllabus for the Royal Schools of Music, and taught at the Royal College of Music as well. He was the recipient of the Education Award at the inaugural Parliamentary Jazz Awards in 2005, and was given Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010 by the London College of Music, where he also taught.
Eddie's contribution to the jazz scene was huge and he will be deeply missed by all, especially those who had the pleasure of working with and knowing him. Ian Darrington, Director of Jazz Performance, Wigan Council (1977-2011) shared his thoughts with us earlier today:
"It was with much sadness that I read late last night of Eddie's passing. He was truly a special guy and a good friend who always had time to chat, whether it was to give advice, discuss a problem or tell a joke. Jazz education in the UK has come an awful long way over the last forty years or more and the part that Eddie played in its development was momentous. He will be sadly missed."
Our sincere condolences go out to his friends and family. We hope to include a fuller tribute to his life and works shortly, but in the meantime you can read an interview with Eddie from JazzUK issue no. 62, in 2005, where he talks about his life and work:
Edward Thomas Harvey, 1925-2012. Rest In Peace.