Happy Birthday to a legend

Wishing Mr Bill Ashton OBE a happy 80th birthday was a great pleasure. A bunch of musicians who've been part of NYJO (the National Youth Jazz Orchestra) got together to help do it in style. Of course, many of the NYJO alumni couldn't be there because they're busy, working musicians.

Name BBC's Strictly Come Dancing, the Royal Variety Performance and many other notable musical events and bands of all genres and there'll be a NYJO connection somewhere.

When Bill created the band in the 1960s, he probably didn't realise the success it would bring to many of the people who grew up with Saturday morning rehearsals and gigs around the UK and the world.

So, it was a pleasure to be one of the people repaying the debt, including band leader Pete Long (front left) and trumpeter Simon Gardner (back, right behind Bill). Plus Simon's son, also a phenomenal trumpeter and a current member of the band.

Happy Birthday, Bill!