Jazz Great Buddy DeFranco Dies at 91

Associated Press

The famed musician died Wednesday evening at a Panama City hospital

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (AP) — Renowned jazz clarinetist Buddy DeFranco — who collaborated with Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday and other top singers and musicians of his era — has died at the age of 91.

DeFranco's family told The Associated Press on Friday that the famed musician died Wednesday evening at a Panama City hospital.

DeFranco's wife Joyce said he had been in declining health in recent years.

DeFranco performed at venues around the world for 75 years and recorded with musicians including Sinatra, Holliday, Art Tatum, Ella Fitzgerald and Tony Bennett. He was named a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master and later named a Living Jazz Legend in a Kennedy Center ceremony.

De Franco was recognized 16 times with the Playboy All-Star award for top jazz clarinetist in the world.

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