I sadly read this today on the BBC website:
Sir John Dankworth, a mainstay of the British jazz scene for over 60 years, has died, his family has confirmed.
Saxophonist Sir John, 82, served as musical director to the likes of Nat King Cole and Ella Fitzgerald.
Sir John, known as Johnny, was knighted in 2006 for services to music. He died at the King Edward VII Hospital in London on Saturday
Taken from The London Times:
Saxophonist Sir John Dankworth, hailed as Britainís first major jazz musician, has died aged 82.
Sir John, who worked with legends like Ella Fitzgerald and Nat King Cole, died at King Edward VII Hospital in London having been ill for several months.
Married to jazz singer Dame Cleo Laine, Sir John and his wife were one of the best known couples in jazz and had been married for over 50 years.
Dame Cleo announced her husbandís death at a concert marking the 40th anniversary of The Stables theatre in Buckinghamshire which they had set up together.
As well as his wife, Sir John leaves a son and a daughter, who are both jazz musicians.
He performed as recently as November last year, playing his saxophone from a wheelchair at the London Jazz Festival.
His career spanned more than 50 years, and included touring with his own big band, music recording, film score composition and artist production.
Two of his hit records included Experiments with Mice in 1956 and African Waltz in 1960.
He wrote the theme tune for The Avengers, Tomorrow's World and Modesty Blaise.
Jazzwise magazine hailed Sir John as "one of the totemic figures of British jazz" and the country's "first major jazz musician".
He was born in 1927 and showed early proficiency on the clarinet.
After falling in love with the music of legendary US saxophonist Charlie Parker, he took up the same instrument.
He won a place at the Royal Academy of Music aged 17, and after a short spell in the Army, was voted British Musician of the Year in 1949.
Sir John met his wife in 1950 while auditioning singers for his band, the Dankworth Seven. They married in 1958.
That decade also saw him tour the states with his jazz orchestra, sharing the bill with the the Duke Ellington Orchestra.
During the next decade he turned his attention to the film world, going on to compose scores for films including Saturday Night And Sunday Morning, The Servant and Accident.
The musician worked with directors like Karel Reisz, Peter Hall, John Schlesinger, Joseph Losey and Henry Hathaway.
In 1985 Dankworth founded the London Symphony Orchestra's Summer Pops, continuing to work with it as artistic director until 1990.