Legendary David Sanborn passed away

On May 12, 2024, the world of music lost a true legend with the passing of David Sanborn, one of America’s most influential alto saxophonists. Sanborn left an indelible mark on the music world throughout his entire life, spanning a career of over six decades.

Born on July 30, 1945, in Tampa, Florida, Sanborn grew up in Kirkwood, Missouri. At a young age, he was afflicted with polio, which eventually led him to the saxophone as part of his therapy. His early introduction to the saxophone proved to be the beginning of an extraordinary journey through the world of music.

Sanborn’s musical journey began at a young age when, at the age of fourteen, he shared the stage with blues legends such as Albert King and Little Milton. His breakthrough came when he joined the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and performed at the legendary Woodstock Music Festival in 1969.

Over the years, Sanborn collaborated with an impressive list of musical giants, ranging from Stevie Wonder to David Bowie, and from The Rolling Stones to Paul Simon. His unique sound and virtuosity on the saxophone endeared him to both fans and fellow musicians.

While Sanborn is most associated with smooth jazz, he never confined himself to one genre. His music encompassed elements of jazz, blues, R&B, and pop, allowing him to reach a broad audience and exert a lasting influence on generations of musicians.

Sanborn’s legacy extends not only to his extensive discography and impressive list of collaborations but also to his contributions to television and radio. He was not only a sought-after session musician but also a gifted presenter and host, with programs such as “Night Music” and “The Jazz Show with David Sanborn.”

Throughout his life, Sanborn received numerous accolades, including six Grammy Awards and eight gold albums. His impact on the music world is undeniable, and his legacy will live on in the hearts and minds of music lovers around the world.

Though David Sanborn is no longer with us, his music and his spirit will always endure. His unique talent and boundless passion for music will always be remembered as a source of inspiration for future generations of musicians and music lovers worldwide. David Sanborn passed away after a long battle with prostate cancer at the age of 78.

Photo (c) Eric van Nieuwland

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