Lloyd Kaplan

2018 INDUCTEE
Music Educator, Author, Jazz

LLOYD KAPLAN: A LIFE IN MUSIC
by Rick Bellaire

Lloyd Kaplan, born in 1933 in Fall River, Massachusetts, grew up in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. As a youth, Lloyd developed an interest in music and began playing the clarinet as a hobby and performed with school ensembles and in community variety shows. Early on, he did not envision a career in music as his path in life and after high school, he enrolled in Bryant College (Bryant University since 2004) as a business student and graduated in 1953 with a B.S. in Business Administration.

He next joined the U.S. Army where he played clarinet and saxophone with the 62nd Army Band. The experience steered him toward a career in music and after leaving the service in 1955, he enrolled at the University of Rhode Island on the G.I. Bill where he earned a B.S. in Music Education graduating in 1959.

You’re In The Army Now! Lloyd Kaplan during his time with the 62nd Army Band in the early 1950s.

Kaplan began his career as a music educator in the Cranston Public Schools system teaching at Hugh B. Bain Junior High School from 1960 to 1965 during which time he earned his Master’s Degree at Brown University.

Lloyd Kaplan in 1964 during his time teaching at Hugh B. Bain Junior High School in Cranston, Rhode Island. (Photo courtesy the Hal Crook Photo Archive)

After a year teaching at Scituate Junior-Senior High School, he moved into the college level in 1966 at Rhode Island Junior College (a/k/a the Community College of Rhode Island since 1980) where he remained for 31 years. He also taught part-time for two years at the Brown University Extension School 1966-1967.

Professor Kaplan was instrumental in shaping the future of the music department at CCRI establishing the Jazz Curriculum as a degree program and introducing courses in Twentieth Century Music, Introduction to Opera, Jazz History, The Creative Process In The Arts, Essentials of Rhythm and Introduction To Music. He served as department Chair 1974-1980. He retired in 1995 as Professor Emeritus.

Lloyd not only introduced the 20th century music course at CCRI, he wrote the textbook along with fellow CCRI professor Nancy Carroll. (Consortium Publishing, 2nd Ed., 1991)

Lloyd also persued a career as a professional clarinet and saxophone player in a wide variety of settings including the U.S. Army Band, the Tony Abbott Orchestra and his own jazz group, The Aristocats.

A classic lineup of The Aristocats performing at Slater Mill in the early 2000s (left to right): bassist Bob Petteruti, Lloyd Kaplan on clarinet and sax, and Nat Piccirilli on banjo and guitar. (Image courtesy JazzHistoryDatabase.com)

Along with fellow Hall of Fame inductee and member of The Aristocats Bob Petteruti, Lloyd co-authored the first edition of the Rhode Island jazz encyclopedia, “Who’s Who in Rhode Island Jazz c. 1925-1988.” (Consortium Publishing, 1992)

In “retirement,” he continues teaching at URI and at Coastal Carolina University through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and continues performing with The Aristocats.

The Aristocats 2018 (left to right): Bassist/vocalist Dennis Pratt, Lloyd Kaplan, drummer Joe Holtzman and Nat Piccirilli (Photo credit: Beacon Publications ©2018)

In 2018, Professor Lloyd Kaplan was inducted into the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame as the first inductee in the Music Educators category.

Lloyd Kaplan is seen here inducting Bobby Hackett into the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame in 2013.

LLOYD KAPLAN LINKS & RESOURCES

DOCUMENTARY SHORT ABOUT THE INDUCTION OF LLOYD KAPLAN
INTO THE RHODE ISLAND MUSIC HALL OF FAME IN APRIL, 2018
Produced and Directed by Norm Grant and Tom Shaker for Pete & Buster Films

JAZZ HISTORY DATABASE ENTRY FOR LLOYD KAPLAN
An excellent overview of Professor Kaplan’s life and career
http://www.jazzhistorydatabase.com/content/musicians/kaplan_lloyd/bio.php