New York jazz cornetist John Bucher died on Sunday April 5th from heart complications, he was 89 years old. After graduating from Amherst in 1952 where he had led a band called the Original Delta Five he moved to New York and became involved in the popular Dixieland scene. He was an early member of the long running Red Onion Jazz Band.
In the 60s he started his own Speakeasy Jazz Babies which played many festivals and recorded several albums. They recorded the soundtrack to Woody Allen’s 1973 movie Sleeper. He became a long time member of the Woody Allen Jazz Band, joining their weekly appearances for over 30 years. He was also a member of The Big Apple Jazz Band.
His bands played all of the New York hot spots including Michael’s Pub, The Red Blazer Too, and the Cajun restaurant. He was described as a “wonderfully subtle and lyrical musician” who played in the Bix/Hackett tradition, and was a mentor to many younger musicians.
In recent years he joined The Williams Reunion Jazz Band in New England, a group that formed in 1954 when college groups, like his own Delta Five at Amherst, were common.