Buddy DeFranco Jazz Festival pays homage to namesake

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Buddy DeFranco, who died Dec. 24, lent his name and talent to UM's jazz festival.

This year’s Buddy DeFranco Jazz Festival, March 26-27 at the University of Montana, pays tribute to “Our Buddy,” the jazz legend and festival namesake, who died Dec. 24. Expect fresh new arrangements of classic jazz tunes, original pieces, a guest appearance by jazz clarinetist Eddie Daniels on Friday, and other surprises.

Lance Boyd, former director of the UM Jazz Program, describes the pioneering bebop clarinetist as “a jazz giant.”

Boyd hired DeFranco to perform at the UM Jazz Festival in 1998, and afterward, the artist – who had a summer home in Whitefish for many years – inquired about becoming permanently associated with the festival and using his name in the festival title.

The Buddy DeFranco Jazz Festival debuted in April 2000, and according to Boyd, it was a very fertile alliance.

“His legendary name attached to the jazz festival put the University of Montana on the… Read more

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