Tributes to stalwart of Wakefield Jazz Chris de Saram

Chris de Saram
Chris de Saram

Wakefield Jazz promoter Chris de Saram has died aged 72.

Mr de Saram was the mainstay of Wakefield Jazz from 2004, when he took over as the club’s promoter, booking bands, hosting the gigs and making events a welcoming experience for musicians and audiences alike.

After studying at Durham University, Chris taught sciences at secondary level at Crawshaw School in Pudsey.  He also spent time living and teaching in Bogotá, Colombia in South America. 

From early retirement he devoted himself to Wakefield Jazz – based at Wakefield Sports Club – being a frequent presence at jazz clubs and festivals all over the country in search of contemporary talent.

His daughter Katrina said: “Dad had been passionate about music and a keen jazz enthusiast his whole life.

“After retiring from teaching – another passion of his, nurturing young talent – he dedicated the last 14 years to being the promoter of Wakefield Jazz Club. Dad’s passion for teaching, for the arts and for jazz was a life-long journey.

“The outpouring of loving messages from Dad’s friends, family and the Arts and jazz community has been overwhelming.”

Mr de Saram was also chairman of NorVol – the Northern Voluntary Jazz Promoters Network, a member of the Wakefield Arts Project Steering Committee, and a member of Wakefield Music Education Hub Partners Group.

A statement released by Wakefield Jazz said: “Chris had health problems for a number of years, but very much played down the seriousness of his condition.

“He leaves a big hole in the jazz world which will be profoundly difficult to fill.

“Our thoughts and good wishes are with his family, in particular his daughter Katrina, at this time of shock and great sadness.”

The cremation will take place at York Crematorium at 12:20pm on Friday September 7 and there will be a Wake at Wakefield Sports Club from 2pm, with food and live music. 

In celebration of Mr de Saram’s life guests are invited to wear bright colours, or a hint of his favourite colour, orange. 

Guests are asked to let the de Saram family know they plan to attend by visiting www.wakefieldjazz.org/remembering-chris-de-saram.