Ashton, Bill [William Michael Allingham ]
- Digby Fairweather
- , revised by Simon Adams
[William Michael Allingham ]
(b Blackpool, England, Dec 6, 1936). English bandleader. He began playing saxophone and clarinet in school, and after service in an RAF band he organized two jazz bands while studying at Oxford University (1955–62). In the early 1960s he performed in several clubs in London. In 1965 he formed the London Schools Jazz Orchestra, which was later known as the London Youth Jazz Orchestra and then the National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO); it became a professional organization in 1974 and is the only full-time big band of its kind in Great Britain. Through its ranks have passed some of Britain’s finest young musicians, including Julian and Steve Argüelles, Guy Barker, Chris Biscoe, Paul Lytton, Dave O’Higgins, Gerard Presencer, and Jamie Talbot. It has toured with Shorty Rogers (1982, 1983), and John Dankworth (1986), made regular appearances at Ronnie Scott’s Club in London, and made a large number of recordings, among them ...