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Tributes pour in for jazz icon Andy Hamilton

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Tributes were today paid to West Midlands jazz legend Andy Hamilton who was awarded an MBE for his services to music.

Tributes were today paid to West Midlands jazz legend Andy Hamilton who was awarded an MBE for his services to music.

The popular veteran saxophonist has been hailed as a "great man" and a "fantastic musician" by those who knew him.

The 94-year-old entertained music fans for a number of decades becoming a jazz icon for fans.

Albert Preston, vice-chairman of Bearwood Corks Club, which was founded by Mr Hamilton, led tributes.

Mr Preston said: "He was a great man and it was a real privilege to watch him perform."

Historian and Express & Star columnist Carl Chinn said: "He was a man who gave to the city he loved."

Jazz critic John Watson, who had known Mr Hamilton for 40 years, said: "Andy was a fantastic musician, great personality and a great ambassador for jazz."

Mr Hamilton was a regular at Bearwood Corks Club and often took to the stage at Birmingham Symphony Hall.

He played at events including the BAFTA awards and the South African Jazz Festival and in 2008, Mr Hamilton, who leaves wife Mary, received an MBE in for services to music in Birmingham.

The Birmingham-based saxophonist was a mainstay of the Midlands jazz scene for decades after moving to the UK in 1949 and his illustrious career included performances at some of the world's best-known jazz venues. He also enjoyed a stint as musical director on board Hollywood superstar Errol Flynn's private yacht.

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