On 13 January 2009 drummer, percussionist, composer, band leader and promoter Louis Borenius passed away after suffering heart failure, aged 59. Rhythm scribe Geoff Nicholls shares his thoughts below.
Louis was a dear friend, a massive fan of music and drumming, well known on the jazz, blues and Latin scene. He was one of life’s optimists, a positive mover, always with a half dozen projects on the go. These might include a weekly jazz club in Golders Green, duetting with Chapman Stick virtuoso Jim Lampi, or drumming with one of numerous bands.
Over the years Louis played with everyone from Alexis Korner and Paul Rodgers (Free) to Don Weller and Django Bates. Bands included Big Chief, The Bop Brothers, Grooveyard, The Blackjacks, Republic, Juju and Vavavavoom. He was a lifelong drum fanatic, a valued teacher and he also led his own jazz-Latin band, Coup d’Etat, playing the Simmons Silicon Mallet (electronic vibes). That band produced two scorching albums and over the years featured some of the best drummers in Britain, including Marc Parnell, Richard Bailey and Mike Bradley.
Louis’s funeral in Brighton on Wednesday 28th January was attended by 300 people. Vocalist Sarah Jane Morris, Andy Roberts (guitar), Steve Lodder (organ) and Mark Ramsden (sax) performed at the service, as did both of Louis’s young children. Then it was over to the Komedia Theatre for a long evening of musical fun. Bassist Henry Thomas and guitarist John Etheridge led off, followed by several hours of fantastically varied music from dozens of Louis’s former colleagues. If ever a man was loved...
Louis Borenius, b. August 5, 1949; d. January 13, 2009. Louis is survived by his wife Suzy and children Georgia and Oscar.