Famous MK resident dies

Tributes have been made to one of Milton Keynes' most famous residents who's died at the age of 82.

Jazz legend Sir John Dankworth CBE set up The Stables Theatre in Wavendon, along with his wife Dame Cleo Laine. During his career he played with the likes of Ella Fitzgerald and Nat King Cole.

Sir John's death was announced by Dame Cleo Laine during The Stables 40th Anniversary Gala concert on Saturday night.

The Stables is run by a charity - the Wavendon Allmusic Plan Ltd (WAP) - which the couple founded in 1969. The music venue started in an old stable block at their home and is now ranked as one of the top ten music venues in the UK. More than 350 concerts are played there every year.

Throughout its 40 year history Sir John provided ongoing support for the music venue and its educational programmes. 

Stephen Clarke, Chairman of WAP paid tribute to the inspiration that Sir John has provided.  "John and Cleo had the vision in 1969 to convert the stables at the end of their drive into a performance venue with a diverse programme of musicians and for audiences of all ages. Their continued support and that of their many friends and volunteers has enabled The Stables to become the outstanding venue that it is today.  It is a fitting tribute that on the day of Sir John’s death that we celebrated on stage the 40th anniversary of The Stables with some of the many artists who have performed with Sir John at The Stables.  Sir John’s passion for good music will remain the organisation's guiding principle, and The Stables his enduring legacy" 

Monica Ferguson, Chief Executive of The Stables went on to add: “Sir John’s influence on both jazz and the music industry as a whole has been immense and we are deeply saddened by this tragic news.  His support over the years was steadfast, and our resolve now is to ensure that The Stables continues to deliver great music experiences for everyone.”