Chris Hodgkins (trumpet)

He was raised in Cardiff, and in 1974 co-founded the Welsh Jazz Festival. He was instrumental, four years later, in establishing the Welsh Jazz Society with David Greensmith. As a jazz trumpeter Chris joined the Icon Jazzmen when he was 18. As a professional trumpeter, Chris toured the UK and Europe with Johnny Bastable’s Chosen Six, Monty Sunshine, Route 66; appearing at the Sacramento Jazz Festival in the States with the Pete Allen Band, and made tours of Germany with the Chris Haskins Band.

The Chris Hodgkins Band made a name for itself supporting the likes of Buddy Tate, Humphrey Lyttelton, Kathy Stobart, Bud Freeman, Dick Carey, Harry South, Ronnie Ross, Billy Butterfield, Joe Temperley, Howard McGhee, Peanuts Hucko, Benny Waters and Wild Bill Davison who said “It is a hell of a good band”. The band made a number of television and radio appearances.

Chris relocated to London to play professionally. In 1985 he was appointed Director of Jazz Services the national organisation funded by Arts Council England to provide services in information, touring, education, communications and publishing to the UK jazz community. In 2005, Jazz Services won the Best Website category in the first Parliamentary Jazz Awards; Services received the 2008 Parliamentary Jazz Awards for Jazz UK as best jazz magazine. In January As Chair ofthe National Jazz Archive, Chris led the team that secured investment of £346,300 in the National Jazz Archive by the Heritage Lottery Fund in July 2011. In May 2012 Jazz Services received the 2012 Parliamentary Jazz Awards for Jazz UK as best jazz magazine.

Chris retired from Jazz Services in May 2014. With his days of administration behind him, Chris now takes to the road, the radio and the recording studio to focus on playing the music he loves.

Chris and the quartet recorded the album “Boswell’s London Journal”, a suite of 15 tunes co-composed by Chris Hodgkins and Eddie Harvey, Which received the Evening Standard CD of the week in 2009.

Chris presents two weekly programmes, “Jazz Then and Now” for Jazz London Radio and “Jazz Is” for Pure Jazz in New York

In July 2017 Chris was appointed by the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Group to act as their Secretariat. The Group recently held the Parliamentary Jazz Awards at Pizza Express Live in Holborn, London in July 2022

Chris runs and Online Music Business Resource has just published three new manuals and revised three manuals on the On Line Music Business Resource. A recent publication is: “Where do you want to be – a business planning manual for jazz music students and musicians. All resources are free to download from:

Chris completed a tour of the UK with Arts Council England funding with his International Quartet of Jinjoo Yoo (piano), Wayne Wilkinson (guitar) from the USA and Alison Rayner(bass). An album “Festooned With Trumpets” was released in May 2022.

Please see review of albums in ‘Jazz Lives’

Chris’s latest project was the “Salute To Humphrey Lyttelton” featuring a ten-piece band. The band completed a 17-date tour in November /December 2021 with the support of Arts Council England. The Album Salute To Humphrey Lyttelton was released in May 20022 and received a fours star review and Editors’ Choice in Jazz Wise.

Chris’s latest project is “Summoned By Bells” – This project is based around Sir John Betjeman’s poem “Summoned By Bells” and involves a tour of churches The core of the programme revolves around a number of newly composed themes played by church bells over which members of the band will improvise – two trumpets and soprano sax

In addition to the improvisation with bells there will be music from folk songs to jazz and a few other idioms in between. Plus, poetry readings written by Betjeman, A.E. Houseman plus two new commissions from the poet Max Hillman, set to music by Estelle Kokot.

The band comprises Chris plus Henry Lowther (trumpet), Diane McLoughlin (sax), Elaine Delmar (vocal) Alison Rainer (double bass) and Max Brittain (guitar).

Chris Has recently rejoined the Pete Allen Jazz Band after 45 years.


Awarded: 2002 BBC Radio 3’s Services to Jazz, the 2013 British Jazz Awards for Services to British Jazz, the Parliamentary Jazz Award for Services to Jazz 2015, Brecon Jazz Festival Services To Jazz 2022.



Buddy Tate 1977
HTV Forum February 1977
Peanuts Hucko
Buddy Tate
Kathy Stobart
Icon Jazz Men 1970
Humph and Chris Great Western Hotel, Cardiff, 7th January 1981
Chris Hodgkins And His Band with Humphrey Lyttelton
Chis Hodgkins And His Band with Ronnie Ross
Wild Bill Davison, Titos Club. Cardiff, 5th December 1977
Chris Hodgkins And His Band 5th December 1977 Titos Club Cardiff
Chris Hodgkins And His Band
Chris Hodgkins And His Band
Chris Hodgkins And His Band - Retrospection
Chris Hodgkins and Digby fairweather Covent Garden June 2014 (Photo © Peter M Butler, Jazz&Jazz)
Buddy Tate 1977
HTV Forum February 1977
Peanuts Hucko
Buddy Tate
Kathy Stobart
Icon Jazz Men 1970
Trustees of the Welsh Jazz Society
Susan da Costa dancing with Duke Feb 1964 altered copy
Humph, Susan da Costa and Duke 1964 Feb
Wild Bill Davison and Bob Tunnicliffe
Jed Williams Vic Parker Chris Hodgkins
Jed Williams
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