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“Young Americans” saxophonist, David Sanborn dies at 78

David Sanborn

Classic Rock

“Young Americans” saxophonist, David Sanborn dies at 78

The American alto saxophonist David Sanborn passed away at the age of 78 after years battling prostate cancer. The musician died last Sunday afternoon (May 12) in Tarrytown, New York.


Although he performed on many famous tracks by artists of other music genres, Sanborn was an important solo artist and released 26 studio albums. The first one was “Taking Off” (1975) and the final one “This Masquerade” (2018). As a sideman he played in many Rock and Roll classics like David Bowie‘s “Young Americans” released in 1975.

Also a respected session musician, Sanborn recorded with a huge number of famous artists. Some of them are: James Brown, Paul Butterfield, Kenny Loggins, James Taylor, Stevie Wonder, B.B. King, Todd Rundgren, Tommy Bolin, Paul Simon, Michael Bolton, Cat Stevens, Bruce Springsteen, Jaco Pastorious, Elton John, Ian Hunter, Burt Bacharach, Don McLean, Linda Ronstadt, Dr. John, The Eagles, Bonnie Ratt, Billy Joel, The Rolling Stones, Roger Waters, Bryan Ferry, Toto, Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton and many more.

He also worked composing music for movies. Some of the movies he was part of were: “Psycho II” (1986) and the entire “Lethal Weapon” franchise.

Read the official statement of  the death of David Sanborn

“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. Mr. Sanborn passed Sunday afternoon, May 12th, 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. 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 statement said.

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