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Memorial Concert For Beloved Northwest Guitar Teacher Set For Sunday

RICHLAND, Wash. – Jazz musicians from around the country will gather on [today] 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 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.

“I didn’t know if I was any good at all," Correll says. "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.

Copyright 2013 Northwest Public Radio

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.