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Buddy DeFranco


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Boniface Ferdinand Leonard “Buddy” DeFranco (born February 17, 1923 in Camden, New Jersey) is a jazz clarinet player.

DeFranco had the bad fortune to begin his professional career just as Swing Music and Big Bands — so many of which were led by clarinet players like Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman and Woody Herman — were fading in popularity.

DeFranco was perhaps the only major jazz clarinet player to adapt to this change, and until the 1980’s, he was the only notable jazz musician who played clarinet exclusively. He was also perhaps the only viable bebop clarinetist (but see Brad Terry, who carried Bebop to its extreme in modern Jazz).

In 1950 he joined the famous Count Basie Septet, spending a year with the band, and was also the leader of the Glenn Miller Orchestra from 1966 to 1974.

He has also performed with Gene Krupa, Charlie Barnet, Art Tatum and many others, and has released dozens of albums as a leader.

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