b. 12 August 1926, London, England. After winning a Melody Maker poll for his jazz piano playing while still in his mid-teens, Lee joined John Dankworth’s band, later winning another poll in the same magazine. From the mid-50s and throughout the 60s, Lee was active in jazz, the musical theatre, television and films, contributing scores for several well-known films. In the early 80s Lee was sufficiently active on the jazz scene to be elected BBC Jazz Society Musician of the year, but begun to plan a ‘jazz-only’ radio station which, while not unusual in the USA, was unheard of in the UK. Against the odds and all expectations, Lee was successful, and in 1990, Jazz FM was on the air. Broadcasting to the Greater London area, Jazz FM made an important contribution to the hopes and aspirations of jazz musicians and broadcasters until financial pressures forced policy and other changes, after which Lee moved on to other ventures.
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