Renowned American jazz clarinettist Buddy DeFranco died on 24 December 2014 following a brief illness. He was 91.
• Originally named as Boniface Ferdinand Leonardo DeFranco, he was born in Camden, New Jersey.
• He learned to play the mandolin at the age of five and took up the clarinet four years later.
• Later, he performed at venues around the world for 75 years and also recorded many albums.
• Buddy DeFranco conducted the Glenn Miller Orchestra for eight years from 1966 to 1974.
• He was named as a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master and later a Living Jazz Legend in a Kennedy Centre ceremony.
• DeFranco was a member of the American Jazz Hall of Fame. He also received the Playboy All-Star award for top jazz clarinettist in the world 16 times.
• Today, the annual Buddy DeFranco Jazz Festival is held every year at the University of Montana.
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