Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 April 2014

Solly Lipsitz: Music world says farewell to Mr Jazz

Van Morrison attends the funeral of jazz critic and musician Solly Lipschitz in the Jewish section of Carnmoney Cemetery yesterday
Van Morrison attends the funeral of jazz critic and musician Solly Lipschitz in the Jewish section of Carnmoney Cemetery yesterday

Van Morrison was among those who gathered to pay their final respects to jazzman Solly Lipsitz yesterday.

The former Belfast Telegraph music critic, who died on Saturday night at the age of 92, was credited with introducing jazz to music lovers here.

He was a prominent member of Northern Ireland's Jewish community.

Also in attendance at the service at the Belfast Jewish Cemetery in Carnmoney was Mr Lipsitz's partner, Anne.

Solly, who lived off the Lisburn Road, was known everywhere as Northern Ireland's Mr Jazz.

He fell in love with jazz after buying a trumpet in the 1940s and went on to take music lessons.

He played in several bands and then opened The Jazz Club on the Embankment in Belfast where among his discoveries was Rodney Foster, who went on to achieve international fame.

A lecturer in the Belfast College of Art and Design, he also owned the famous Atlantic Record shop specialising in jazz imports.

International star and fan Morrison once said of him: "He was a music critic who actually made music himself."