Ventnor Comic Jazz Band picked for Jubilee pageant

Ventnor’s Comic Jazz Band has been chosen by The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee organisers to represent the South of England in the Jubilee Pageant, taking place on June 5 in central London.

More than 5,000 people from across the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth will be celebrating the Queen’s reign against the backdrop of Buckingham Palace and the surrounding streets, combining theatre, music, street arts, circus, carnival and costume.

The band made its first appearance in the 1894 Ventnor Carnival as a ‘Mop Brigade’. Members of the local Isle of Wight Rifle Volunteers dressed in weird costumes and performed comic drill displays using mops instead of rifles.

Then, in 1911, a core section of the Mop Brigade formed a ‘Comic Band’, which has appeared in successive Ventnor carnivals up to the present day. The highly popular band is also a familar sight across the Island as it takes part in most Isle of Wight carnivals, and other major Island events.

Senior member, Mike Kullander, said: “We are honoured and thrilled to be chosen for this prestigious event. It promises to be a lot of fun, which is very much our style.”

Since 1911, successive generations of the same families have provided continuity and carried on the band’s tradition of ‘Music, Mirth, and Mayhem’. The fun-loving band members still wear outlandish costumes, and play well-known tunes on a variety of instruments – some of which are home made.

It is believed that The Queen’s Jubilee Pageant will be the first time in its long history that the band will perform off the Island.