Born in 1940, Dave Donohoe began practising trumpet at the age of 16. However, after 3 years he switched to the trombone in order to play in a band with his friend Ged Hone, who had been taught by his father.
Dave was drawn to traditional jazz by the British bands of the 1950s, but when he discovered the jazz of New Orleans through records, and by seeing live the bands of George Lewis and Kid Ory, he decided to confine his listening to American musicians.
In 1966, as a member of the Ged Hone Ragtime Band, he was privileged to play in a concert in Manchester with the legendary clarinettist from New Orleans, George Lewis. It was George’s last appearance in Europe.
With Jim Robinson in 1971
The Ged Hone Band 1961 - a young Dave with trombone.
He played funerals and parades with the great Olympia Brass Band (of James Bond fame) - Dave is the one in the tan coloured trousers - and on one trip was asked to form a band to meet Benny Goodman at the airport.
With Woody Allen - 1971
With George "Kid Sheik" Colar.
All these experiences were very much the influence for Dave’s current style of music, which continues to this day and has seen him become one of the Europe’s most respected and well known New Orleans style band leaders. Forming his own band in 1973 he continues to perform at many of Europe’s major jazz festivals with the band as well as being a “guest” player at international festivals.
1995 - Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh with Big Al Carson from New Orleans. An audience of some 6000 plus.
Throughout the 1970s many musicians from New Orleans began touring Britain and Europe. Dave became their road manager for the English tours, and had most of them as house guests over several years.
1977 saw him on a USA tour in a band formed by clarinettist Sammy Rimington that included American pianist Butch Thompson. The band appeared in the Garrison Keeler Prairie Home Companion Show, a popular weekly radio show in Minnesota.
Manchester Sports Guild 1966. LtoR. Ian Rose, George Lewis, Ged Hone, Mike Longdon, Dave.
Dave’s first of nine trips to New Orleans was in 1971. He sought out and became friends with many of his heroes, in particular the trombonist Jim Robinson.
Being involved in a “jam session” with comedian and clarinet player Woody Allen resulted in him being invited to play with Woody in the main Jazz Fest Concert. Kid Ory and Dizzy Gillespie were just two of the luminaries Dave found himself standing in the wings with.
With Wallace Davenport - Musical Director of the Ray Charles' Orchestra . . .
. . . . and Kid Thomas Valentine.
George "Kid Sheik" Colar in Manchester 1964