John Kenneth Davern, 7 January 1935, Huntington, New York, USA, d. 12 December 2006, Sandia Park, New Mexico, USA. A professional musician at the age of 16, Davern worked with Jack Teagarden and Phil Napoleon in the mid-50s, moving on to play with Henry Red Allen and Buck Clayton. In the early 60s he led his own small group and also played with the Dukes Of Dixieland. Later in the decade he worked with Ruby Braff. In the early 70s, he teamed up with Bob Wilber to form Soprano Summit. This band featured Davern and Wilber on clarinets, occasionally altos, but, as the name implies, mostly soprano saxophones. Backed by a variety of rhythm sections, Soprano Summit made a string of enormously successful concert and festival dates and numerous record albums, which enjoyed good sales. In 1979 the partnership ended and Davern thereafter concentrated more on clarinet. Throughout the 80s and into the 90s, Davern led several small groups, played briefly in the...
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