Jazz Clarinet Player Buddy DeFranco Dies at 91

Buddy DeFranco, onetime bandleader of the Glenn Miller Orchestra who played clarinet with Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday and many others, died Wednesday in Panama City, Fla. He was 91.

One of the few bebop clarinet players, he was honored as the top jazz clarinetist in the world 16 times with the Playboy All-Star Award. During his early days of performing, he played with Count Basie’s Septet, and led small combos with pianist Sonny Clark and guitarist Tal Farlow, recording for MGM Records, Norgran and Verve.

Though the heyday of big band music was long past, he kept the genre alive, leading Glenn Miller’s orchestra from 1966 to 1974. DeFranco performed with Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Gene Krupa, Charlie Barnet, Art Tatum and Oscar Peterson.

DeFranco’s performanced last when he was 89. He was named a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master as well as a Living Jazz Legend at the Kennedy Center.

He is survived by his wife Joyce.

 

 

More Music

  • Electronauts_KeyArt_1080p

    This Startup Revolutionized VR Gaming. Now It Wants to Do the Same for Music.

    Buddy DeFranco, onetime bandleader of the Glenn Miller Orchestra who played clarinet with Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday and many others, died Wednesday in Panama City, Fla. He was 91. One of the few bebop clarinet players, he was honored as the top jazz clarinetist in the world 16 times with the Playboy All-Star Award. During his early […]

  • Ajit Pai Free Speech

    FCC Nears Vote to Repeal Net Neutrality Rules

    Buddy DeFranco, onetime bandleader of the Glenn Miller Orchestra who played clarinet with Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday and many others, died Wednesday in Panama City, Fla. He was 91. One of the few bebop clarinet players, he was honored as the top jazz clarinetist in the world 16 times with the Playboy All-Star Award. During his early […]

  • Russell Simmons

    Russell Simmons Accused of Sexual Misconduct By Eight Women

    Buddy DeFranco, onetime bandleader of the Glenn Miller Orchestra who played clarinet with Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday and many others, died Wednesday in Panama City, Fla. He was 91. One of the few bebop clarinet players, he was honored as the top jazz clarinetist in the world 16 times with the Playboy All-Star Award. During his early […]

  • 50 Cent Power

    Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson Extends Overall Deal With Starz

    Buddy DeFranco, onetime bandleader of the Glenn Miller Orchestra who played clarinet with Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday and many others, died Wednesday in Panama City, Fla. He was 91. One of the few bebop clarinet players, he was honored as the top jazz clarinetist in the world 16 times with the Playboy All-Star Award. During his early […]

  • Lucian Grainge and Rihanna57th Annual Grammy

    Rule Brittania: U.K. Executives Find Success Running Major U.S. Music Labels

    Buddy DeFranco, onetime bandleader of the Glenn Miller Orchestra who played clarinet with Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday and many others, died Wednesday in Panama City, Fla. He was 91. One of the few bebop clarinet players, he was honored as the top jazz clarinetist in the world 16 times with the Playboy All-Star Award. During his early […]

  • Lip Sync Battle; Queen Latifa vs

    'Lip Sync Battle' Live Michael Jackson Tribute to Launch Paramount Network (EXCLUSIVE)

    Buddy DeFranco, onetime bandleader of the Glenn Miller Orchestra who played clarinet with Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday and many others, died Wednesday in Panama City, Fla. He was 91. One of the few bebop clarinet players, he was honored as the top jazz clarinetist in the world 16 times with the Playboy All-Star Award. During his early […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content