Photo by A. Wandfluh
Tony Carter :
Alto sax, baritone sax, clarinet, and flute

Tony Carter joined the Band at the same time as Bob Hunt and Mike Henry at the end of 2001, when the Chris Barber Jazz and Blues Band became the Big Chris Barber Band. His last date with the band was July 16, 2008. This is Tony's page, written when he was a member of the band:

Tony was born in Birmingham in 1943 and began playing piano at four years of age. He started listening to jazz while at grammar school, and first heard Chris and the band about 1956. It was because he heard Monty Sunshine playing Hushabye that he asked his dad to buy him a clarinet. He then took lessons and learned to read music. Besides Monty, Tony's other influences included Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw.

Tony became a professional musician when he was seventeen, and went to Germany to play with Val Merrall and Paul Gunther. At this time (1961) he was doubling clarinet and alto. He took up the flute in 1967, and became principal flute with the Midland Radio Orchestra. Over the years he has played with Sarah Vaughan, John Dankworth, Ron Goodwin, Norrie Paramor, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and many others. Jazz groups in which he has played include The Charleston Chasers, Harry Strutters Hot Rhythm Orchestra, and other bands with Bob Hunt and Mike Henry.

Together with Richard Exall and John Defferary, the reed section of the band is able to vary the mood and sound of the band to a remarkable degree. Tony’s warm tones are currently featured on such numbers as All Blues (where he solos on flute) and Petite Fleur (clarinet).

Text by Julian Purser.

Tony has also written an entertaining and informative memoir about how he first started playing, and his seven years with the Big Chris Barber Band.

Music: Short excerpts from Tony playing flute on All Blues and alto sax on Jubilee Stomp, both recorded in 2003.

Tony Carter Photo Gallery
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