Don Lanphere

Jazz, Musical Artist

1928 – 2003


Who was Don Lanphere?

Don Lanphere was an American jazz tenor and soprano saxophonist born in Wenatchee, Washington, perhaps best known for his 1940s and 1950s work and recordings with Fats Navarro, Woody Herman, Claude Thornhill, Sonny Dunham, Billy May and Charlie Barnet, among others.

In 1951 he was arrested and charged with heroin possession, and worked his family's music store following his release from jail. In the late 1950s and early 1960s Lanphere performed with Herb Pomeroy and also with Woody Herman again. In the 1980s he began working again and started releasing albums, doing tours in New York and Kansas City in 1983 and a European tour in 1985.

He was also a celebrated jazz educator in the Pacific Northwest, giving lessons out of his home in Kirkland, Washington. He instructed clinics and small groups, as well as performed, at the Bud Shank Jazz Workshop, an annual, week-long summer camp in Port Townsend, Washington for jazz students of all ages. The Bud Shank Jazz Workshop coincided with the annual Port Townsend Jazz Festival.


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Jun 26, 1928
Also known as
  • Lanphere, Don
  • United States of America
  • Northwestern University
Oct 9, 2003

on July 23, 2013