French jazzman Claude Luter died on Oct. 6 near Paris, at the age of 83.
Born July 23, 1923 in Paris, Luter is considered by many as the chief ambassador of New Orleans-style jazz in France. With clarinet his main instrument, Luter was pro-active in the post-World War II period that saw jazz blossom in Paris’ Saint-Germain-des-Prés clubs.
He is also remembered for having accompanied jazz legend Sydney Bechet in the 50’s. At the time, Bechet was celebrated throughout France, where he had been living.
“For me as for many, the name of Claude Luter will also remain associated with Saint-Germain-des-Prés in the post-war years, with its innumerable jazz clubs, where you could meet Camus, Sartre, Giacometti, Boris Vian, Raymond Queneau and so many others,” French minister of culture Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres said in a statement. “He is and will forever be regarded as one of those remarkable men who symbolised this highly talented period.”