Amazing musician Buddy DeFranco dies at 91 1



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The world has lost another great… perhaps one of the worlds most memorable jazz clarinetists, Buddy DeFranco, who died at the age of 91 this week, on Christmas Eve.  Buddy was best known for his collaborations with Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra and conducted the Glenn Miller Orchestra for more than eight years.

buddy defranco

He was a member of the American Jazz Hall of Fame and performed for over 75 years leaving a legacy that perhaps took the clarinet across the divide as music changed from classical to jazz and onto popular genres.

“Buddy DeFranco almost single-handedly was the clarinetist who moved the harmonic and rhythmic language forward from where Benny Goodman left off into the much more adventurous territory of bebop and beyond, while never forgetting his roots in swing music. He was also unfailingly kind and supportive to every other clarinetist who came after him,” said leading jazz clarinetist Ken Peplowski in an article for Time.

He died in hospital in Panama City, after a long illness.

Enjoy a few of his musical contributions below.  Do you remember Buddy DeFranco’s harmonising clarinet sounds?



Playing with Billie Holiday





Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the founder and publisher of Starts at Sixty. The daughter of two baby boomers, she has built the online community for over 60s by listening carefully to the issues and seeking out answers, insights and information for over 60s throughout Australia. Rebecca is an experienced marketer, a trained journalist and has a degree in politics. A mother of 3, she passionately facilitates and leads our over 60s community, bringing the community opinions, needs and interests to the fore and making Starts at Sixty a fun place to be.

  1. Love the liquorice stick, Rebecca: Jimmy Dorsey, Jimmy Giuffre, Benny Goodman, Russell Procope, Artie Shaw. I have recordings of them all. The one I would have loved, but it was never cut, was a live performance I saw in the 1970s, Buddy de Franco, clarinet, and Ben Webster, bass sax, playing Misty. Incredible! I think because of seeing them perform they have both been right up near the top of my music tree.
    RIP Buddy.

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