James Blades

From Academic Kids

James Blades OBE was an English percussionist who died in 1999 at the age of 97. He was one of the most celebrated percussionists, having had a long and varied career. He also wrote Percussion Instruments and their History, one of the standard works on percussion instruments.

Jimmy, as he was known to all, was born in 1901. He provided the sound for the Rank Organisation's famous Gongman and was an associate of Benjamin Britten, with whom he conceived many of the composer's unusual percussion effects. In 1954, Jimmy was appointed Professor of Percussion at the Royal Academy of Music.

Jimmy's pupils include the rock drummer Carl Palmer.

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