b. 2 February 1920, London, England, d. 18 November 2002, England. Brunskill began playing the guitar as a teenager, receiving instruction at the Bethnal Green Men’s Institute. Soon, he was playing at dances in London’s East End, the kind known locally as ‘tanner hops’. During World War II he switched to trumpet, inspired by Louis Armstrong and Muggsy Spanier. After leaving the armed forces he played with Cy Laurie and began organizing jam sessions in and around London. Having formed his own band, he played long residencies at two Surrey public houses, the Fighting Cocks in Kingston-on-Thames and the Lord Napier in Thornton Heath. He introduced many young musicians into his band over the years, among them Mike Pointon, Mike Sherborne, Les Allen, Hugh Crozier, Bill Stagg and, most notably, Sammy Rimington. Up until the late 90s, Brunskill was still leading his band, still blowing fiery Armstrong-inspired trumpet, and still at the Lord Napier. His dedication to jazz was recognized in 1995 by a television documentary called Whatever Happened To Bill Brunskill?
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