LaPorta, John (Daniel )
- Brian Priestley
(b Philadelphia, April 1, 1920; d Sarasota, FL, May 12, 2004). American saxophonist, clarinetist, and teacher. He was a sideman in the big bands of Bob Chester (1942–4) and Woody Herman (1944–6; while with Herman he appeared in the film Earl Carroll Vanities (1945). He then studied with Lennie Tristano and other teachers, and he recorded with Tristano in 1947. With Teo Macero, Charles Mingus, and others, he was a founding member in 1953 of the Jazz Composers’ Workshop; this established an experimental movement in New York which rivaled that in Los Angeles. LaPorta studied at the Manhattan School of Music (BS clarinet 1956, MME 1957), after which he began teaching there. From 1959 to 1985 he served on the faculty at the Berklee School of Music (from 1973 the Berklee College of Music), where he performed in a faculty saxophone quartet. He also played in Herb Pomeroy’s big band from ...