PANAMA CITY (CBSMiami/AP) – Buddy DeFranco, world renowned jazz clarinetist who collaborated with Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday and other top singers and musicians of his era, has died at 91.
DeFranco died Wednesday evening at a Panama City hospital, his family told The Associated Press.
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, Holiday, 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.
DeFranco was recognized 16 times with the Playboy All-Star award for top jazz clarinetist in the world.
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