Larry Porter was born in 1951 in Cleveland (Ohio) and began to study the piano at the age of six. Trained at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester and at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. In 1973 he moved to Munich and began to appear with such musicians as Bobby Jones, Sal Nistico, Leszek Żądło, Volker Kriegel, Kai Winding, Mel Lewis and Günter Lenz.
In 1976 he undertook a tour of the Asia. During his travels he studied the music of Central Asia, Afghanistan and India and took lessons on the rebab in Kabul and on the sarod in New Delhi.
From 1977–1980 he lived in New York, often appearing as a jazz pianist and performer of traditional eastern instruments.
In 1981 he returned to Germany, and one year later together with Los Angeles saxophonist Allan Praksin he founded a quartet which was together for eleven years.
From 1986–1988 he frequently collaborated with Chet Baker, Marvin Peterson, Heinz Sauer, Benny Bailey, Don Menza and Leo Wright. From 1988–1992 he performed with the Art Farmer Quintet.
Also works as a composer. His works combine elements of jazz, classical music and the musical traditions of Central Asia, India and Afghanistan. In 1990 he received a prize at the Jazz Chorus Composition Competition in Cologne for the work Vergänglichkeit to words by Hermann Hesse.
In 2000 with the guitarist and composer Mundell Lowe he recorded the disc Mundell’s Moods. 2004 saw the release of the disc The Circle Is Unbroken with the musician's original compositions performed by the Larry Porter Trio, and in 2005 there came an album of songs by the composer performed by the acclaimed jazz singer Barbara Mayr. That same year at the Philharmonie in Berlin came the premiere of Kind of Jazz Suite, commissioned from Porter by the Philharmonie. 2010 saw the release of the disc Silk Road Blues featuring compositions for piano, the rebab and percussion.
In 2015 Porter was commissioned by the Theater der Altmark in Stendal (Germany) to compose music for Gotthold Ephraim Lessing's play Nathan der Weise.
Currently deeply involved in musical activities, appearing in recitals and with ensembles in Germany, Austria, Poland, The Netherlands, Denmark, Italy and Russia.