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Jon RB. A tribute and CD collection details

Oliver Weindling writes:

Jon RB was a very special person for our jazz community. Jazz seemed to keep him going (as well as good beer). I first met him in the early 90s, when, as a motor bike messenger, he regularly turned up to gigs by Billy Jenkins. I then lost track of him until, after the Vortex moved to Dalston, he signed up as a volunteer. 

For many years he would be found at the club almost every other day. Behind the bar, nurturing our collection. “Cold beers to the left” is a motto that we continue to follow today. He grumbled when we ordered beers from Inbev or other majors but was pleased, in the end, by our selection of beers. 

He always took the greatest care to keep the customers happy, but also the musicians. He regularly bought their CDs, ending up with over 3000. The collection includes over 80 by Paul Dunmall, and nearly as many by Evan Parker. He religiously collected others, such as Sloth Racket and Olie Brice. But there were also albums by the likes of Davey Graham and even R.E.M. His tastes were pretty broad. And he always paid for what he collected.

Even once he stopped being a volunteer, he became a regular at many gigs, especially around Dalston. He always paid for his ticket and never took advantage of his loved status at the club. And when he wasn’t at the Vortex, he could probably be found at Cafe Oto, Hundred Years Gallery or at his local, the Eleanor Arms. Similarly he always refused the offer of free CDs from the musicians, aware that they needed themselves to earn. And he loved talking gear to anyone, especially as a bass player himself. It says a lot about his modesty that no photos could be found about him online to include here.

If, once he became sicker, he missed a series of gigs due to hospitalisation, he would make a contribution to the Vortex up to the amount that the club had lost in door income. Would that others were the same!

Photo by Sean Kelly.


We now have his CD collection. They have now been catalogued and the list follows. All are for sale. Most are only available as CDs and not online via Spotify. So it makes it quite a special selection.

The funds raised will be used by the “PAD Fund” sparingly – for special things that would have been close to Jon’s heart – Professional Advancement and Development.  (Jon’s family nickname was Pad(dington) after the bear!) 

If you’re interested in buying any CDs, contact Also contact Oliver if you have trouble with the link.

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