Composer, HFPA Member Howard Lucraft Dies

He was an orchestra leader for the BBC early on in his career before immigrating to the U.S. to compose and arrange for records, TV and radio, including "Jazz International" which had more than 100 million listeners.

Howard Lucraft, a composer and member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, died peacefully on Feb. 4, the HFPA reported Wednesday. He was 94.

Lucraft came to fame in England as an orchestra leader for the BBC. In addition to regular national broadcasts with his own groups, he composed, arranged, scripted and emceed special BBC shows.

He immigrated to the U.S. to compose and arrange for records, TV and radio, including commercials and promos. His early credits include compositions and arrangements for Stan Kenton, Anita O’Day, Ray Noble and Los Angeles TV stations KTTV and KABC. His specially commissioned Los Angeles Suite premiered at the Hollywood Bowl.

His bands were heard on various record labels following his initial recordings in the U.S. on the Decca label and were seen on TV and at American venues from the transported London Bridge at Lake Havasu, Ariz., to Las Vegas.

Lucraft’s Jazz International show for American Forces Radio received more than 100 million listeners.

Lucraft served as music editor for Daily Variety and wrote for such publications as Down Beat, Jazz Journal, the London Daily Herald, the London Sun, the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner and the Los Angeles Times. He was elected president of the Hollywood Press Club a record three times.

He was a lifetime member and former vp and executive director of the American Society of Music Arrangers and Composers as well as a member of AFTRA, the MPAA, the Performing Rights Society and Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters.

Lucraft is survived by his wife, Patricia Masako Ogata.