Family remember Steyning jazz personality and father

A well known jazz musician has been remembered as a ‘kind’ and popular man by his family after his unexpected passing earlier this month.

Wednesday, 27th August 2014, 2:00 pm
Terry Whitney Steyning jazz musician SUS-140818-142805001

Steyning resident and accomplished pianist Terry Whitney was a major figure in the Sussex jazz scene who played with famous musicians like Danny Moss.

On August 2, Terry died unexpectedly of a severe brain haemorrhage at the age of 82.

Daughter, Rebecca Whitney-Leggatt, said he had ‘touched so many people’.

JPCT 180814 S14340771x Steyning. Terry Whitney tribute by family -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-140818-133201001

“He lived his life in a very understated way,” the 47-year-old said.

“He was a very generous and kind man. He had an amazing intelligence and he was a wonderful host - we always had a house full of musicians, family and friends. He had a gentle presence and everybody who knew him recognised that, and he touched so many people,” she added.

Eldest son, Ben, 50, said: “The house has always been full of music.”

His wife, Jean, said she was first attracted to Terry’s humour. She recalled: “We were driving to Rottingdean and he said I’m not taking my foot off the accelerator until you marry me - he got up to 99mph before I said okay (laughs).”

In the 1960s, Terry joined the Riverside Jump Band and forged a long friendship with renowned trombonist Keith Samuel. He also composed music for TV Test Cards that were played after a channel ended its broadcast.

Although a successful lawyer, this did not take him away from his love of music and working with the likes of Bruce Turner, Sandy Brown and Mick Mulligan.

Instead of flowers, the family has asked those attending the funeral to make a donation to charity, CDH UK, after Terry’s grandson was born with a hole in his diaphragm.

He is survived by his wife, three children and four grandchildren.