Mike Thomas 1942 - 2008
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Mike was a hugely talented musician. His trumpet playing was extraordinary; fluid and passionate, with a style all of its own. Hearing him play a solo would never fail to send a tingle down my spine. A night out at one of  his  gigs, be it in days gone by  with the Beale Street Band or more recently with the Manor Six, he would never fail to entertain. His between song patter was good too - snippets of jazz history connected with the music and of course the dry sense of humour thrown in here and there.

He loved humour - introducing me to the likes of Monty Python and Peter Cook with Dudley Moore at a very early age (much to the dismay of my Mum who thought the Pythons weren't suitable for a 7 year old!) Clearly Mike will be missed by us all and not least his devoted wife Pat. The last few months of his life were tough and we can only be grateful he didn't have to suffer for too long. He leaves a void but also a great legacy with his music.

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The Manor Six and guest players join in a rousing tribute to Mike at his funeral celebration at West Ewell Social Club on January 13th. A great rendition of 'When the Saints go marching in'. It was a truly remarkable occasion with a huge turnout. With live music at the Crematorium and throughout the afternoon, it was an unforgettable day and a great send off for Mike. Thanks to everyone who came and please check back regularly for more pictures and music.
I intend to add to this tribute as I gather more material, but for now here are a few songs from the Beale Street Jazz Band in 1983 - a good year - listen out for Mike's vocal on 'Ain't Misbehavin'.