VENTNOR’S COMIC JAZZ BAND ROAD TO LONDON FOR THE QUEEN’S PLATINUM JUBILEE PAGEANT – Island Echo

After 110 years of ‘music, merriment and mayhem’, the Ventnor Comic Jazz Band have been chosen by Queen’s Platinum Jubilee organizers to represent the South of England at the Platinum Jubilee Pageant, taking place on Sunday June 5 2022.

Over 5,000 people from across the UK and Commonwealth will celebrate the Queen’s reign against the backdrop of Buckingham Palace and the surrounding streets, combining street art, theatre, music, circus, carnival and costume.

The Ventnor Comic Jazz Band first appeared at the 1894 Ventnor Carnival as the ‘Mop Brigade’. Members of the local Isle of Wight Rifle Volunteers, dressed in bizarre costumes, performed comedy drill demonstrations using mops instead of rifles. In 1911 a core section of the Mop Brigade formed a comic strip group, which (apart from hiatuses for the 2 World Wars) has appeared in successive Ventnor Carnivals to the present day.

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These days, the unique and wildly popular band appear at most Isle of Wight carnivals every year, as well as other major island events.

The fun-loving band members always wear extravagant costumes and play well-known tunes on a variety of instruments, some homemade. Since 1911, successive generations of the same families have ensured continuity and perpetuated the tradition of music, merriment and chaos.

It is believed that the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Pageant will be the first time in its long history that the band will perform off-island.

Mike Kullander, a senior member, says:

“We are honored and delighted to have been chosen for this prestigious event. It promises to be a lot of fun, which is very much our style”.

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Henry R. Wright