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In 1993, Colin Aitchison, a young professional band leader from Newcastle, England, moved to Hong Kong and within months found himself surrounded by a pool of talented musicians and performers. He put together a line-up and a name, derived from our passion for Jazz and our home in Hong Kong, off China's southern coast. 

The China Coast Jazzmen were born.

Our versatile line-up - trumpet, clarinet, tuba and banjo - is designed to be mobile and fun, but just as importantly, affordable, enabling us to bring music to the masses and play a range of venues and events. With a good mix of young local Chinese and expatriates, the band has developed a loyal following. Colin (with his very English/Geordie ways and humour) and the China Coast Jazzmen are regularly inundated with bookings for functions and events.

After the handover of Hong Kong sovereignty to China, we assumed demand for our music would eventually dry out and were determined to make the most of the time we had to enjoy it. Much to our surprise, after the handover we experienced a boom, and the China Coast Jazzmen were more in demand than ever. 

Colin and the band were eventually offered a full term employment contract at Ocean Park – Hong Kong's famous theme park - as an “atmosphere” band, becoming an attraction in their own right and introducing Dixieland to the park's visitors for over 18 years.

Later, in 1997, Colin and the China Coast Jazzmen were offered a full time residency at Ned Kelly’s Last Stand where they still perform today. Ned Kelly’s, in Tsimshatsui, is named after Australia’s greatest folk hero and reputed to be the oldest Jazz Pub in Hong Kong (if not Asia). Regulars affectionately refer to Ned Kelly’s simply as “Neds”.

In 1998, our six piece line-up was invited to Denmark to represent Hong Kong for a promotion with Magasin du Nord, the chain of department stores. This gave us a chance to collaborate with Papa Bue and enjoy a few jam sessions with this legendary entertainer. We pride ourselves on our versatility and ability to entertain, scoring invitations to prestigious Jazz Festivals like the Sacramento Jazz Festival, USA, and Macau Jazz Festival, Macau, and the Southbridge Jazz Club, Singapore.

Highlights include a “live” one hour radio broadcast for Radio & Television Hong Kong from the New Disneyland Resort Hotel and playing along side famous reedman Bob Wilbur while the M/V Radisson Sea Mariner was docked in Hong Kong

Today the band has expanded and can be tailored to a 4-6 piece ensemble to suit the occasion and budget, entertaining at junk trips, marina’s, open days, carnivals & shopping malls. The band has performed for several government organizations as well, including the Hong Kong Tourism Board and the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.