Photo by A. Wandfluh
Mike Snelling

Clarinet and alto, tenor & baritone saxophones

Mike was a member of the Big Chris Barber Band from November 2006 to December 2009.

Mike was born in Weymouth, England, on 4th October 1940. He took up clarinet at ten years of age. His teacher took him through formal studies for the first six years. He then heard a player performing "Sweet Georgia Brown" and he switched his attentions to the world of Jazz. He listened to the Dutch Swing College Band, Chris Barber's Jazz Band and the fine playing of Sid Phillips.

He went from the sixth form to teachers training and took up his first appointment as a physical education teacher in Dalston, London in 1961. While in London he followed the fortunes of the Alex Welsh Band, which in turn led to an interest in the music of Eddie Condon. Mike went professional for a short time with the Gerry Brown Jazzmen, turning down an offer from Alex Welsh in 1964 to return to teaching in Dorset.

Mike married Sandi in 1971 and they have two daughters and two grandchildren, all music lovers!

He became a Deputy Head of a comprehensive school, leaving the profession in 1992 to take up full-time playing again with Gerry Brown. He has worked alongside of the world's finest players, including Michael Andrew "Peanuts" Hucko, Ralph Sutton, Bud Freeman, Buddy Tate, Bob Wilbur and Kenny Daverne. Mike's main influences are "Peanuts" Hucko, Ed Hall, Artie Shaw, Archie Semple, Omer Simeon, Benny Goodman and Coleman Hawkins. He has recorded a number of CDs, available through Raymer Sound.

Music: Mike playing clarinet on the Barber classic, The Martinique.

Mike's CDs on Raymer Sound include:
Mike Snelling Photo Gallery
Photos by Mike Henry and Helge Lorenz

Back to the Former members of the band page.