Memorial Concert For Beloved Northwest Guitar Teacher

By Anna King

RICHLAND, Wash. – Jazz musicians from around the country gathered on Sunday, to honor a musician who didn’t sell a lot of records but influenced three generations of jazz guitarists. John LaChapelle died last month at the age of 91 in Richland, Washington.

John LaChapelle died at age 91 in March. Photo courtesy of the LaChapelle family.

John LaChapelle only advertised for music students once in his more than 50-year career as a jazz guitar teacher. After that, it was all just referrals. Students say LaChapelle would show by example, use humor and rarely criticize. Perhaps his most famous protégé is the jazz-fusion great, Larry Correll.

He says LaChapelle took him to some big-name concerts.

Larry Correll: “I didn’t know if I was any good at all. When you’re a kid you don’t know anything like that. But he knew. And he was trying to mentor me. So I would get prepared to be around players, good jazz players, and that was one of the great things that he did for me.”

La Chapelle would go hear his students play gigs and was generous with his time. Perhaps that’s why so many of them chose to show up for a memorial concert.

The concert to honor musician John LaChapelle was April 7, at the Shilo Inn in Richland.

Copyright 2013 Northwest Public Radio

John LaChapelle died at age 91 in March. He was a beloved jazz guitar teacher throughout the Northwest. Photo courtesy of the LaChapelle family.

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