Ball became the first British jazzman to become an honorary citizen of New Orleans
Ball was born in Ilford, Essex. At the age of 14 he left school to work as a clerk in an advertising agency, but also started taking trumpet lessons. He began his career as a semi-professional sideman in bands, whilst also working as a salesman and for the advertising agency. He turned professional in 1953 and played the trumpet in bands led by Sid Phillips, Charlie Galbraith, Eric Delaney and Terry Lightfoot before forming his own trad jazz band – Kenny Ball and his Jazzmen – in 1958. His dixieland band was at the forefront of the early 1960s UK jazz revival.
In 1961 their recording of Cole Porter’s “Samantha” became a hit, and in March 1962 they reached No. 2 on both the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and the UK Singles Chart, with “Midnight in Moscow”. The record sold over one million copies, earning gold disc status.
Read more at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenny_Ball