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Jon Clarke, 54; an Original Member of Loggins & Messina Band

June 14, 2005|From a Times Staff Writer

Jon Clarke, an original member of the Loggins & Messina band and a veteran studio and recording musician, has died. He was 54.

Clarke died of kidney cancer Friday at his home in Kauai, Hawaii, said one of his sisters, Sally Stevens of Los Angeles.

Classically trained, Clarke played several instruments, specializing in oboe and saxophone. He began performing in his teens in the rock band California Earthquake and in a Los Angeles Valley College jazz quartet. He later toured with Don Ellis' jazz orchestra.

After Jim Messina of Buffalo Springfield and Poco met and joined Kenny Loggins as Loggins & Messina in 1970, Messina recruited a five-piece band that included Clarke. The group performed and recorded together through the 1970s.

Clarke has a memorable baritone saxophone solo on "Your Momma Don't Dance," from the 1972 album "Loggins & Messina."

After the group dissolved, Clarke became a studio musician and played with the Academy Awards orchestra for 17 years. He performed on hundreds of television and motion picture soundtracks, including the HBO series "Six Feet Under" and the 2002 film "My Big Fat Greek Wedding."

His other credits include "Fried Green Tomatoes," "Scent of a Woman," "The Green Mile" and "The Road to Perdition."

Clarke is survived by his wife, Miriam Sosewitz Clarke; two sons, Ian and Colin; three sisters, Vickie Paulsen, Lydia Hoenninger and Sally Stevens; and two brothers, Michael and Charles.

Memorial donations may be sent to the Amicus Foundation, 4217 Waipua St., Kilauea, HI 96754.

Stevens said a memorial is planned for August in Los Angeles.

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