Goodbye to Seaham’s jazz man

The funeral of Keith Crombie, who ran the Jazz Cafe on Pink Lane in Newcastle

The funeral of Keith Crombie, who ran the Jazz Cafe on Pink Lane in Newcastle

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A RENOWNED jazz man was been given a musical send-off at his funeral.

Seaham-born Keith Crombie, owner of Newcastle’s famous Jazz Cafe, was given a New Orleans-style farewell by his friends and family.

File pic dated:28/06/2011 ''Keith Crombie who runs the Jazz Cafe in Newcastle's Pink Lane '' NOT AVAILABLE FOR PRINT SALES

File pic dated:28/06/2011 ''Keith Crombie who runs the Jazz Cafe in Newcastle's Pink Lane '' NOT AVAILABLE FOR PRINT SALES

The 74-year-old ran the much-loved music venue in Pink Lane, which became a mecca for jazz fans and visiting celebrities.

He was taken to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary on Boxing Day with a lung infection and died three days later.

Keith left the Jazz Cafe for one last time on Monday morning and was taken through the city on a horse-drawn carriage, followed by a marching band and estimated 600 mourners as they made their way to the church of St Thomas the Martyr through snowy conditions. A small group of musicians played a slow version of Billie Holliday’s Summertime as the procession set off from Pink Lane, taking half an hour to reach the church at Haymarket.

The band’s tempo increased as they reached the church and performed When The Saints Go Marching In.

There was standing room only for the service, which was led by Reverend Catherine Lack.

It is believed Keith will be laid to rest near his parents, in a private ceremony.

Although the doors of the cafe are now closed following a legal wrangle, over its 22-year history it attracted a host of visiting bands and theatre groups.