Bob Barnard AM

Australian trumpeter and cornetist, Bob Barnard has died at 88. A jazz icon has passed, but we are the richer for his life. He grew up in a Melbourne musical family and continued to pass down his knowledge and experience to his children and even his grandchildren, which included our FineMusic Artist-In-Residence, pianist Casey Golden.

He started playing cornet at 12, because the family band (led by his mother Kath Barnard) needed a trumpeter. But he was also deeply impressed by a record of Muggsy Spanier, as well as Louis Armstrong, Bix Beiderbecke, Sidney Bechet, Bunk Johnson and Graeme Bell. He toured New Zealand and Papua New Guinea with Graeme Bell.

Barnard became a household name during the ’80s, appearing regularly on televised performances on the ABC, Channel 7 and Channel 9. In 1990, Barnard was made a member of the Order of Australia in recognition for his service to the arts in Australia. In 2010, Barnard was inducted into the Australian Jazz “Bell” Award’s Hall Of Fame.

Bob Barnard will be remembered as one of Australia’s most revered jazz musicians – a master craftsman with a big rich tone, a consummate ease of flowing solo lines, and flamboyant style that created the sound of early Australian jazz. 

Listen out for Tuesday’s Jazz Rhythm with Jeannie McInnes at noon on 17th May,
and Classic Jazz with Dave Mac on Sunday 22nd May, for features on Bob Barnard.