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Grammy-winning saxophonist David Sanborn dead at 78

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Grammy-winning saxophonist David Sanborn passed away May 12, according to a post on his Facebook account. He was 78.

“It is with sad and heavy hearts that we convey to you the loss of internationally renowned, 6 time Grammy Award-winning, saxophonist, David Sanborn,” read the post, which revealed that he died “after an extended battle with prostate cancer with complications.” 

“Mr. Sanborn had been dealing with prostate cancer since 2018, but had been able to maintain his normal schedule of concerts until just recently,” the post continued. “Indeed he already had concerts scheduled into 2025.”

“David Sanborn was a seminal figure in contemporary pop and jazz music. It has been said that he ‘put the saxophone back into Rock ’n Roll,"” the post concludes.

Sanborn, an alto saxophonist, was well known not only in the jazz world, but in pop, rock and R&B, as well. He released his first album, Taking Off, in 1975, which landed in the top 20 on the Billboard Jazz Albums chart. He went on to win six Grammy Awards, and earn eight Gold albums and one Platinum album.

Sanborn performed and recorded with a whole host of musicians, including David Bowie on Young AmericansJames Taylor on four albums, including the Gorilla song “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)”; and Eric Clapton on the soundtrack to the movie Lethal Weapon.

Other artists he recorded with include The Who‘s Roger Daltrey, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Carly Simon, Billy Joel, Steely Dan, James BrownThe Rolling Stones, Grateful Dead and the Eagles.

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