Chris Wagstaff

We are very sad to let you know about the death on 19 January of Chris Wagstaff, a well loved and respected giant of a character in so many ways, including on the local jazz scene.

Chris was a member of the University of Reading’s Department of Modern Language and European Studies where he lectured in Italian Studies, with a special interest in Italian Cinema.  Since his retirement, Chris revived and continued to develop his considerable musicianship as a jazz trumpet player, as demonstrated so ably with the Gli Avanzi Quintet which he co-founded and led.

He was an enthusiastic participant in regular jam sessions in and around the Reading area, as well as sessions sponsored by Jazz in Reading at the Global Café. He also played with a number of thriving local ensembles, including, since September 2017, the BWCB Beaufort Wind Band in Bracknell. His wide-ranging knowledge of the jazz repertoire, his energy and the gentle offering of sound advice will be most sadly missed.

Chris’s family are planning to have a celebration of his life on the evening of Friday 6 April, at Reading University. It will take place in the Meadow Suite, Park House, Whiteknights, Reading RG6 6UR, from 7pm until late, with finger food and a cash bar, and will feature live jazz from musicians that Chris enjoyed playing with. The family need to know the numbers attending, and friends who have been made aware of the evening through Jazz in Reading, and would like to attend, should email Andrew Last, at, who is helping collate responses on behalf of the family.