Joe Muranyi with Louis Armstrong | Archive photo from MTI

Joe Muranyi dies at 84

April 25, 2012

American jazz clarinetist Joe Muranyi, of Hungarian descent, has died at the age of 84 in New York City. He played in Louis Armstrong’s All Stars group, as well as with many other jazz legends. He performed in Hungary several times, also.

Born to Hungarian parents in Ohio, Muranyi performed with almost all big names in classical jazz and reached the top of his career playing with Louis Armstrong’s All Stars in 1967-1971 when he made many recordings with Armstrong.
Muranyi worked on a book about his close friend, “Satchmo”, the manuscripts of which are in his home, together with a pile of LPs, books and other handwritten documents that tell many stories that only Joe Muranyi knew.
He moved with his family to New York in the 1940s where he was a regular visitor in jazz clubs and played for hours every day. Muranyi, who spoke fluent Hungarian, returned to his parents’ homeland on a regular basis from the 1990s.
He launched the Louis Armstrong Jazz Festival in the village of Bánk, northeast of Budapest, where a statute of Armstrong, Hungary’s only memorial to the jazz legend, stands. The last time he returned to attend this festival was in 2009 as the next year, he was diagnosed with cancer and could only be present saying a couple of sentences by phone. Joe Muranyi died on April 20.


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