Bill LaVorgna, 74

Minnelli's music director

August 03, 2007

Bill LaVorgna, a jazz musician who was musical director for Liza Minnelli for more than three decades, died of a heart attack Tuesday at his Stuart, Fla. home. The former Princess Anne resident was 74.

Mr. LaVorgna, a drummer, was musical director for Ms. Minnelli and her mother, Judy Garland. He recorded numerous albums for Ms. Minnelli and walked her down the aisle at her 2002 wedding.

Born in Paterson, N.J., he earned a music degree from New York University and had performed with Frank Sinatra, Dizzy Gillespie and the Four Seasons.

Family members said he moved to Florida five years ago and had lived for 20 years at Windswept Farm in Princess Anne on the Eastern Shore.

Mr. LaVorgna was a sportsman who enjoyed the outdoors and deep-sea fishing off Ocean City. He raised English setters for hunting.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Aug. 12 at Trinity United Methodist Church, 112 High St. in Salisbury.

Survivors include his wife of 54 years, the former Joan Gross; three sons, Mark LaVorgna and Blaise LaVorgna, both of Salisbury, and David LaVorgna of Baltimore; and six granddaughters.

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