The golden age of jazz

Drummer John Hicks, 74
Drummer John Hicks, 74

A 74-year-old drum teacher has been hitting the right notes after landing one of the biggest gigs of his career.

John Hicks works at Rimmers Music School, on Chapel Brow, Leyland, and is used to inspiring his students to achieve great things.

Now he’s been invited to perform at the world famous Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, in London’s Soho, on Sunday.

John, who lives in Moss Side, said: “It’s absolutely wonderful. I feel very lucky.”

John joined his jazz band, Tipitina, two years ago, and is set to play at the London club with band members Debbie Jones and Justin Randall.

“It’s another great stepping stone for the band,” he said. “We’ve performed at some fantastic venues before, including the Albert Hall cafe bar, and a very big gig in Leicester Square, which was fabulous.”

John, who has written five drum books, has worked at Rimmers for 15 years.

“I enjoy my job very much,” he said. “I love practising in the studio and writing, and my books have been very well accepted.

“Most of my students have done very well too, and I put on shows with them to help them improve.

“One of the things I love about my job is seeing my students succeed and get into a band. That’s a great sense of achievement.”

John teaches all levels and all ages, with one particular student sticking out in his mind.

“She was a 64-year-old ex-professional dancer who wanted to learn to play the drums,” he said.

John has played the drums for all of his life, and performed in the RAF military band and the Leyland Vehicles Brass Band, which took him as far as Japan.

Caroline Calderbank, from Rimmers Music, said: “John is a popular teacher at the school, and a lot of people request to have him teach them.

“We always knew he was special and extremely talented; he’s a fantastic drummer and a real character.

“We couldn’t be happier at his achievement in getting to play at Ronnie Scott’s.”

Tipitina will also perform at the Hop Pocket pub on Carr Lane, Chorley, on August 25.