Louisiana jazz great Pete Fountain dies at 86

Jazz Artist Pete Fountain performs in 2009 at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

Story highlights

  • Fountain was a New Orleans fixture
  • The Crescent City will give him a proper send off, his son-in-law says

(CNN)Legendary Louisiana clarinetist Pete Fountain died Saturday morning in New Orleans, his son-in-law Benny Harrell said. He was 86.

"He was a beautiful man," Harrell told CNN.
The death of the jazz musician drew reaction from Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards.
    "Mr. Fountain and his clarinet filled our streets, homes and hearts with music and joy," Edwards said. "Throughout his extensive career, Mr. Fountain was always a proud ambassador for the City of New Orleans. Although he will be greatly missed, his warm and cheery disposition will live on in the music he left behind."
    Edwards noted that Fountain and his wife, Beverly, were together for 64 years. Fountain was the foundation in the early days of the New Orleans Jazz Fest, and he was such a musical force that his name often started stories about the Crescent City and its music.