Artist Biography by AllMusic

Although Allen has chosen to follow the well-trodden path of other UK jazz traditionalists such as Freddie Randall and Kenny Ball, he has managed to maintain originality through a combination of musical flair and determination. His fluid, bluesy clarinet style is complemented by his use of alto and soprano saxophones, both of which allow him to augment the traditional dixieland line-up to good effect. Displaying a sound business sense (on a par with that of Chris Barber), Allen has led a succession of enthusiastic young musicians, prepared to turn their backs on the new trends followed by their contemporaries. Unlike many latter-day UK reed players, who have chosen to model themselves upon John Coltrane, Allen himself has followed the lineage exemplified by Edmond Hall. Largely by dint of his expressive playing and total commitment, Allen’s decision to follow a traditional style has in no way limited his musical development and he continues to play an interesting and entertaining brand of jazz.


Hard driving clarinetist, vocalist and all-round entertainer Pete Allen was made an honorary citizen of New Orleans for his services to jazz. Pete has been described as ‘Britain’s most exciting jazz clarinetist’.


Regarded as one of Europe’s most talented and exciting masters of the clarinet, Pete thrills audiences around the World with his own style of jazz clarinet combined with a slick fast moving entertaining show of light-hearted humour and happy foot-tapping jazz songs.


 Classy Jubilee Swinging Jazz

Pete Allen, bandleader and Honorary Citizen of New Orleans, is regarded as one of Europe’s most talented and exciting masters of the clarinet.  He is not only a gifted musician but also a born entertainer, guaranteed to enthrall any audience and leave them wanting more. He plays a range of reed instruments, and very occasionally takes to the banjo – just for fun! And his Satchmo vocals have to be heard to be believed.

His band comprises high-calibre musicians with long experience of playing here and abroad; the pianist and bass-player both hold degrees in music and the others have been playing at top level all their adult lives.  All are consummate professionals.

Pete first formed his own band in 1978 and went on to top the bill in America, starring in such magical jazz destinations as St. Louis, Sacramento and, of course New Orleans, where he was awarded an Honorary Citizenship for his services to jazz music – a rare privilege for a British musician.

Until the advent of Brexit and Covid, he was still performing regularly in France, Germany and Denmark, both with his band and as a guest soloist, whilst maintaining a busy schedule in the UK.

He and his musicians are delighted to be part of the first Sidmouth Jazz & Blues Festival.

  • Bechet's Walk
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  • Pete Allen - Beau Sejour
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