Legend Max remembered

Max Jaffa
Max Jaffa

TRIBUTES have been paid to legendary Scarborough entertainer Max Jaffa on what would have been his 100th birthday.

BBC Radio Three presenter Rob Cowan yesterday morning paid a musical tribute to the late Mr Jaffa, who was 79 when he died on July 30 1991, on the station’s Essential Classics programme.

Mr Jaffa’s concerts from the Palm Court in Scarborough were frequently featured on BBC radio.

According to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: “In 1960, Jaffa began his long association with Scarborough: for 27 years he entertained holidaymakers there during a 17-week summer season of concerts given by his 15-piece Spa Orchestra.

“Consisting of light classical pieces, often including more substantial works, these concerts were given in the Grand Hall and broadcast by the BBC.

“Jaffa had a different programme each night for three weeks and then repeated the concerts. He received the Freedom of the Borough of Scarborough in 1986.”

Max Jaffa (formerly Jaffe) was born on December 28 1911, at 25 Goodge Street, London, the son of Israel Jaffe, an immigrant Russian-Jewish tailor then working as a butcher and his London-born Russian wife, Millie Makoff.

On his sixth birthday his father gave him a half-size violin, hoping the boy would later make money from the instrument.

He made his concert debut three years later.

After leading orchestras as a teenager he met cellist Reginald Kilby and Scarborough pianist Jack Byfield. This became the Max Jaffa Trio.

When he died, Mr Jaffa, who had four daughters, left £188,258 in his will.

In 1993 a £4,000 bronze and marble plaque was unveiled at The Spa by his widow, singer Jean Grayston, to commemorate his life.