“Seminal” – Tributes paid after death of ‘Young Americans’ saxophone legend David Sanborn

Tributes have been paid to David Sanborn, the saxophone legend who performed on David Bowie‘s hit ‘Young Americans’, who has died at the age of 78.

It was confirmed on his official social media accounts that he had passed away on Sunday (May 12) from complications of prostate cancer. He had been diagnosed with the disease in 2018 but had continued performing until recently and had live appearances booked into 2025.

“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 statement. “Mr. Sanborn passed Sunday afternoon, May 12th, after an extended battle with prostate cancer with complications.

“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.’”

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.”

— DavidSanborn (@DavidSanborn) May 13, 2024

Sanborn was born in Tampa, Florida and grew up in Missouri. He began playing saxophone according to his website.

By the age of 14, he was playing with the likes of Albert King and Little Milton. Sanborn  went on to study music at Northwestern University before transferring to the University of Iowa where he played and studied with legendary saxophonist JR Monterose.

Sanborn went on to join the Butterfield Blues Band and performed at Woodstock with Paul Butterfield. He later toured with Stevie Wonder, recording on Wonder’s ‘Talking Book’ album and also played with The Rolling Stones, and touring with David Bowie.

As well as soloing on ‘Young Americans’, Sanborn also toured with Bowie and collaborated with names including Paul Simon and James Taylor.

He released his debut solo album, ‘Taking Off’, in 1975, following it up with ‘Hideaway’ in 1979. Sanborn’s other albums featured contributions from Luther Vandross, Christian McBride, Eric Clapton and more.

Bowie’s official social media page said his estate was “sad to learn of the passing of American alto saxophonist, David Sanborn”.

RIP DAVID SANBORN

Sad to learn of the passing of American alto saxophonist, David Sanborn.

Bowie fans will know him best for his sublime work on Young Americans and David Live, he also played flute on the latter.

The sad news was posted on his social pages in the last hour…… pic.twitter.com/c7X30BUzSI

— David Bowie Official (@DavidBowieReal) May 13, 2024

R.I.P David Sanborn pic.twitter.com/hZ0idj4BeG

— Earl Slick (Official) (@real_earl_slick) May 13, 2024

Rest in peace to jazz saxophonist David Sanborn. In addition to his own work, Sanborn recorded with everyone from Stevie Wonder to Bruce Springsteen, and was one of the hosts of the legendary TV show ‘Night Music.’ (Photo: Rovi) pic.twitter.com/PgkEEMGExi

— TIDAL (@TIDAL) May 13, 2024

Sorry to hear David Sanborn has passed away. I’ll always remember him for blowing the shit out of a saxophone while Warren Zevon blew the hell out of a harmonica. One of my favorite TV moments. May both men rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/QsTMaI4e1B

— HarryHew (@harryhew) May 13, 2024

RIP David Sanborn. Here’s his blink and you’ll miss it cameo alongside Miles Davis in Scrooged.

“D’ya learn the song yesterday?” pic.twitter.com/BZmrPHjQ3d

— wrongtom (@TheWrongtom) May 13, 2024

rest in peace to the legendary saxophonist David Sanborn. i was lucky enough to play with Mr. Sanborn once, and he was as kind and soulful a person as he was a musician.

love to his family and friends
pic.twitter.com/5ru9pd63b0

— Nate Smith (@natesmithdrums) May 13, 2024

David Sanborn, a searingly brilliant musician capable of joyous intensity, gentle melancholy, and everything in between, has died. In every musical generation, there are a handful of people who forever change the way their instrument is played; Sanborn was one of those people. pic.twitter.com/SYyLl1Pbiy

— Don Breithaupt (@DonBreithaupt) May 13, 2024

The post “Seminal” – Tributes paid after death of ‘Young Americans’ saxophone legend David Sanborn appeared first on NME.

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