Musician Michel Duvoisin RIP

Michel Duvoisin plays the Last Post

Musician, composer, songwriter and Rye resident Michel Duvoisin died suddenly and unexpectedly on Sunday night and his humour and endless enthusiasm will be recalled with sadness and shock by all those who knew him.

He featured in Rye News over the years in a number of roles, all musical and often involving films for which he had composed scores, but his talents cropped up in a variety of roles – whether it was sounding a trumpet tribute at a Mary Stanford lifeboat disaster service at Rye Harbour, or sounding the Last Post on a bugle at the annual Remembrance Sunday services at St Mary’s church in Rye.

Martin Wimbush accompanied by Michel Duvoisin at the Rye Arts Festival

The photo shows him accompanying actor Martin Wimbush getting stuck into Shakespeare during the Rye Arts Festival in 2015 and on other occasions he popped up at the Music Well and the 2015 Rye International Film Festival.

And he was a performer as well as a composer appearing at the “Wipers” Inn doing a gig with “AS IS” with his bass and backing vocals. Back in the 80s he had been one half of The Footsore Pilgrims. He had trained as a classical trumpet player in Boston in the United States.

It was as a composer though that he appeared at the Kino answering questions about his soundtrack to the film “Tony Benn: Will and Testament” and others may have many more memories of him.

Michel Duvoisin recording at Abbey Road Studios

Image Credits: Kt Bruce , Paul Whiteman , Michel's website .


  1. I had the privilege of knowing Michel through his time playing the last post at the Rye Harbour Lifeboat Service, a sad loss and my condolences to his family and friends.

  2. Michel was a lovely guy: talented, enthusiastic, refreshingly astute, and funny … honour to have known him. He was very supportive to me as a musician, returning to Rye in my 50’s and getting back into music. With his encouragement I started to write and got into composition, re-learning music theory long forgotten.

    Just a few days ago I bumped into him in Rye High Street; he stopped me and said ‘Phil, turn round.’ I turned and we looked at a beautiful rainbow framing the end of the street ‘That’s f**** amazing’ he said as he walked off smiling. I’ll remember him … God bless, and all best wishes to his lovely family.

  3. Dear Michel You will be forever missed by the whole of Rye, and environs. We are so sorry you have gone,all our love to Sally & the boys. Priscilla and family.

  4. I met him last summer, he spent a day with my partner and me as I am one of the biggest fans ever of his grandfather Roger Duvoisin. He was incredibly kind and told us lots of stories about his childhood with ‘Grandpere’. It was a truly magical experience to meet Michel – such a beautiful and kind man.

  5. I meet this wonderful man many years ago and met him again at our Music Well performance and the first word he said to me was oh wow l never knew your a singer too and he shake my hand and said so proud of you with a wonderful smiles. Sending all my love to his family’s, God bless you my friend l will miss you xxxxx

  6. We are overwhelmed by such kindness. Michel was unique: a warm, exceptionally talented human, and an amazing husband and father. He had time for everyone and everything: a true egalitarian. We will miss him forever.

  7. My dad was Michel’s high school band director, and Michel was a favorite student, to be sure. Dad would mention him frequently, and speak of his enormous talent at so young an age. His bass playing was wonderful, too! Dad often mentioned the time Michel, along with his wife, stopped in to the high school to say hi. That meant a lot to dad. My deepest sympathy to the family on such a heartbreaking loss.

  8. Michel was a brightly lit light in our town. Our town has now lost some of that sheen, that character. Michel was ever the gentleman, always enquiring after my son whom he taught guitar to and helped create a passion that thrives in Freds still several years later. Michel was so proud of his family and we would often stop for a chat about our musical lives also..he was so interested in the choir and appeared from nowhere one night whilst we were rehearsing, brought in by the singing as he was heading to Jempsons and sat with us for a while…a privilege to have him with us. Fun, interesting and interested and also deeply committed to his family, his music and this town ..we have lost someone that was unique and that will stay in our minds and in the history of Rye for a long time. My deepest condolences to Sally and the boys. xx

  9. I knew Michel in New Jersey when we were both very, very young. His parents and I were close and dear friends for decades. The news of his passing so suddenly is a dagger to the heart of everyone who knew this delightful, charming, caring, wildly talented and gentle man.

  10. It’s lovely and heartwarming to read the comments from Michel’s friends, old and new. My brother, and my only sibling, was everything that you all have written. Like my father, he was exceptionally bright and curious, warm and welcoming, and with a wonderful musical talent and knowledge. I will miss him and remember him eternally. He leaves behind a beautiful trio – his wife, Sally, and sons, Louis and Luc who will push forward with strength from knowing that Michel loved them so deeply and wanted them to live on to their fullest.

  11. No one could ask for a lovelier neighbour and friend than Michel. He always had a smile, a compliment or lovely conversation. He was particularly kind to one of my grandsons, giving him studio time and even attending a concert at Rye Studio School where Dominic was singing one of his own compositions.
    Rye will miss him, as is patently clear, and we will miss our friend.
    PS. We will even miss him practising The Last Post, and every Remembrance Sunday – for years to come, we will think of him too

  12. I was deeply saddened to hear about Michel. Seana Lanigan introduced Paul and I to him and I am so glad that she did.
    He was a fine musician and composer, who really knew how to listen to music. He was a gentleman and someone who we would have liked to have got to know more. Our hearts go out to his family.

  13. I am the sister of Boot, the guitarist and old friend of Michel in their band for many decades. I knew Michel from the mid-80’s. So many memories, and so much heartache whenever I hear a song that reminds me of the happy days.
    Over the years, at times I saw Michel often, then would have years of no contact. I last spoke to him on the phone in 2013, when he was sweet and kind as ever.
    For me, time apart makes no difference. I am heartbroken at his loss, and dreamed about him last night.
    I’m so happy to see people saw the same Michel that I saw. How else could it be, as he was truly a gentle, kind, talented, funny, wonderful and amazing soul.
    I’m not sure if I believe in an afterlife, but I want to believe, because I need to have a chat with him.

  14. I’m so sorry to hear about Michel. Only found out today. He was such a lovely man and was always so kind when I worked for the family. My condolences go out to Sally and her boys. Lots of love . Sally xxx

  15. Michel was an enthusiastic, curious, generous, gentle person, whose love transcends time and space with the people he knew and with his music. A life well lived gone too soon. I knew Michel from Pax Amicus in New Jersey and met Carole and Danielle: all peace and comfort be with you. To his wife Sally and sons Louis and Luc: as the center of Michel’s life, I know your goodness and love continue unabated. Everyone is shocked, everyone is crying, but everyone listens to his music and is with him in the Infinite.


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