Jazz Clarinet Player Buddy DeFranco Dies at 91

Jazz Clarinet Player Buddy DeFranco Dies

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.



Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Music News from Variety