O.J.'s Trumpet Page Artists and personalities

Philip Jones Brass Ensemble

Philip Jones Brass Ensemble
(Click on image to see larger photo!)

Philip Jones Brass Ensemble (PJBE)  was formed in 1951 by trumpeter Philip Jones (1928 - 2000). PJBE had two basic formations: a quintet (2 trumpets, horn, trombone and tuba) and a ten-piece group (see picture above) for the larger concert halls.

In February 1947, Philip Jones heard the Amsterdam Koper Quartet (two trumpets, horn and trombone).  It was led by the Concergebouw's first trumpet, Marious Komst. A year later Jones met Komst again and had a few lessons with him. In 1951 Jones was first trumpet with the Covent Garden Opera House Orchestra and following the Dutch example he opted for a quartet drawn from members of the Opera House orchestra. The first players were:

Philip Jones, 1. trumpet
Roy Copestake, 2. trumpet
Charles Gregory, horn
Evan Watkin, trombone

Roy Copestake was
Philip Jones uncle. Late in 1951 the PJBE quartet reharsed for BBC and 22 April, 1952, the first broadcast was heard. It included two world premier, a Scherzo by Gordon Jacob and Theme and Variations by John Gardner.

PJBE made its first recording in 1965 for EMI, The Glory of Venice, in collaboration with Denis Stevens and the Ambrosian Singers.  It was a collection of brass and choral settings by Giovanni Gabrieli and Andrea Gabrieli.

In 1986, Philip Jones announced his retirement. Last recording was PJBE Finale.

Last public performance by Philip Jones Brass Ensemble, with Elgar Howart conducting, was Sunday 8 June 1986 at 7.15 pm in Queen Elizabeth Hall, London. Players were:

Philip Jones, trumpet
Rod Franks, trumpet
Nigel Gomm, trumpet
Joseph Atkins, trumpet
Roger Harvey, trombone
Christopher Mowat, trombone
David Purser, trombone
Raymond Premru, bass trombone
John Fletcher, tuba

A detailed history of the PJBE can be found in Donna McDonald's The Odyssey of the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble (pub. Bulle Switzerland, Editions BIM; 1986). It includes lists of members of the ensemble.


o.j. 2005 - 2008