You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

John D. LaPorta

Clarinetist

John D. LaPorta, a classically trained clarinetist who performed with the stars of early modern jazz before beginning a long teaching and composing career, died in Sarasota, Fla., on May 19. He was 84.

He played and recorded with many prominent jazz musicians, including Kenny Clarke, Charlie Parker, Lester Young, Dizzy Gillespie, Buddy Rich and Miles Davis. From 1944 to 1946 he was a performer and composer for the Woody Herman Orchestra. He also performed with Leonard Bernstein, Igor Stravinsky, Leopold Stokowski and the Boston Pops.

LaPorta composed jazz and classical works in many genres, including film soundtracks, and published some 200 compositions.

Born in Philadelphia, he taught at the Berklee College of Music in Boston for more than 35 years and was a founding member of the National Assn. of Jazz Educators, now the Intl. Association of Jazz Educators. In 2001 he published an autobiography, “Playing It by Ear.”

He is survived by wife Virginia, three daughters, a son, five grandchildren, a brother and a sister.

More Scene

  • NMHC Impact Awards

    Aubrey Plaza, NHMC President Call Out Under-Representation of Latinos at Impact Awards

    John D. LaPorta, a classically trained clarinetist who performed with the stars of early modern jazz before beginning a long teaching and composing career, died in Sarasota, Fla., on May 19. He was 84. He played and recorded with many prominent jazz musicians, including Kenny Clarke, Charlie Parker, Lester Young, Dizzy Gillespie, Buddy Rich and […]

  • 'Seven Seconds' TV show premiere

    Regina King Talks Heaviness of Role in 'Seven Seconds'

    John D. LaPorta, a classically trained clarinetist who performed with the stars of early modern jazz before beginning a long teaching and composing career, died in Sarasota, Fla., on May 19. He was 84. He played and recorded with many prominent jazz musicians, including Kenny Clarke, Charlie Parker, Lester Young, Dizzy Gillespie, Buddy Rich and […]

  • UnReal Athena Film Festival

    How Trump Beating Clinton Impacted the Gender Politics of 'UnReal' Season 3

    John D. LaPorta, a classically trained clarinetist who performed with the stars of early modern jazz before beginning a long teaching and composing career, died in Sarasota, Fla., on May 19. He was 84. He played and recorded with many prominent jazz musicians, including Kenny Clarke, Charlie Parker, Lester Young, Dizzy Gillespie, Buddy Rich and […]

  • 'Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and

    'Unsolved' Stars Point Out Racial Injustice in Biggie and Tupac Murder Cases

    John D. LaPorta, a classically trained clarinetist who performed with the stars of early modern jazz before beginning a long teaching and composing career, died in Sarasota, Fla., on May 19. He was 84. He played and recorded with many prominent jazz musicians, including Kenny Clarke, Charlie Parker, Lester Young, Dizzy Gillespie, Buddy Rich and […]

  • Taura Stinson, Common, and Diane WarrenVariety

    Common, Pasek and Paul, Diane Warren Reveal Inspiration Behind Oscar-Nominated Songs

    John D. LaPorta, a classically trained clarinetist who performed with the stars of early modern jazz before beginning a long teaching and composing career, died in Sarasota, Fla., on May 19. He was 84. He played and recorded with many prominent jazz musicians, including Kenny Clarke, Charlie Parker, Lester Young, Dizzy Gillespie, Buddy Rich and […]

  • 'Game Night' film premiere

    'Game Night': Director, Writer Talk 'Straddling Genres' and the Influence of 'Get Out'

    John D. LaPorta, a classically trained clarinetist who performed with the stars of early modern jazz before beginning a long teaching and composing career, died in Sarasota, Fla., on May 19. He was 84. He played and recorded with many prominent jazz musicians, including Kenny Clarke, Charlie Parker, Lester Young, Dizzy Gillespie, Buddy Rich and […]

  • Esquire 'Mavericks of Hollywood' party

    Terry Crews on His Sexual Assault Lawsuit: 'If I Don’t Get Justice, Nobody Can'

    John D. LaPorta, a classically trained clarinetist who performed with the stars of early modern jazz before beginning a long teaching and composing career, died in Sarasota, Fla., on May 19. He was 84. He played and recorded with many prominent jazz musicians, including Kenny Clarke, Charlie Parker, Lester Young, Dizzy Gillespie, Buddy Rich and […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content