MEMORIAL SERVICE: Byron Bay icon, jazz musician/surfer Dave Ades, was farewelled at The Pass with a service (above) and a paddle out (right) to scatter his ashes.
MEMORIAL SERVICE: Byron Bay icon, jazz musician/surfer Dave Ades, was farewelled at The Pass with a service (above) and a paddle out (right) to scatter his ashes.

Memorial service for jazz great Dave Ades

THE exuberant jazz sounds that David Ades urged from his saxophone were familiar to Saturday night revellers in Byron Bay over many years.

But the Bangalow musician, who died last Friday after a 20-month battle with cancer, was no everyday busker - he was a welcome figure on stage in the jazz clubs of the world, and recorded with some of its finest.

Musicians from around Australia and beyond joined his family, surfers, members of 12-Step fellowships, artists, street people, professionals and scores of friends at The Pass yesterday, to give Ades his final farewell.

The large and colourful gathering was testament to how well-loved he was in the Northern Rivers, for his humour, compassion and honesty.

Ades had played with Fats, frequently joined Cat Empire on stage and generously supported young local musicians, two of whom spoke of his extraordinary talent.

"No one else in the world sounded like him," one said.

Ades returned to New York in August, despite a massive tumour in his lung threatening both breathing and blood flow, to record a follow-up to the 2011 album he made in tribute to his father, Joe.

After a gruelling journey he completed it in one session in October and entitled it, aptly, A Life in a Day.

He returned to Australia weakened but continued to reach out to and encourage his friends, with his usual kindness and uncommon sense.

A Dixieland jazz band played as dozens of surfers took to the water with his ashes and spread them on waves it had been his great pleasure to ride.


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