Obituary: Tito Burns by John Fordham

Tito Burns, who has died of prostate cancer aged 89, was one of the last of a generation of British jazz musicians, including Pete King of Ronnie Scott’s club and the northern swing trumpeter Ernie Garside, who successfully made the switch from performance to management and promotional roles. Burns made a particularly high-profile job of it. He initially represented his former colleagues in jazz after 1955, but then managed several British rock acts, including the young Cliff Rich-ard.

Nathan “Tito” Bernstein was born in north London and began perform-ing as a semi-pro accordionist during the 1930s. He combined a sharp ear for the phrasing of many popular idioms with a relaxed swing and a natural leader’s drive. His first gig was with Felix Mendelssohn’s Ha-waiian-influenced group, followed by work with the Cuban bandleader Don Marino Barreto, the tango pianist Lou Preager and the Trinidadian clarinettist Carl Barriteau.
He is survived by Terry, his daughters Linda and Sharon, and his grandchildren Josh and Ethan.
Tito Burns (Nathan Bernstein), musician and promoter, born 7 Febru-ary 1921; died 23 August 2010
Tito Burns, right, with his future wife, Terry Devon, accompanied by his band at the Wimbledon Palais in 1949 Photograph: Peter Vacher