Music

David Sanborn, Renowned Jazz Saxophonist, Dead at 78

David Sanborn, beloved jazz saxophonist who is credited on songs for Stevie Wonder, David Bowie and many more, died on Sunday (May 12). He was 78 years old.

A message posted to the musician’s social media page confirmed the news, noting that Sanborn had been battling prostate cancer for the past few years. “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,” the message reads. “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.’”

Throughout his career, Sanborn played alongside some of rock’s most iconic figures, both in the studio and onstage. Most notably, he toured with Wonder and played on his 1972 album, Talking Book. He also performed on Bowie’s classic, “Young Americans,” and toured with the late star.

However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg of Sanborn’s illustrious career. Throughout his life, he’s recorded with musicians including B.B. King, Paul Simon, Cat Stevens, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Chaka Khan, Ron Carter, George Benson, Kenny Loggins, The Eagles, Aretha Franklin, Billy Joel, Roger Water, Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger and more.

Outside of recording music, Sanborn hosted a syndicated radio program, The Jazz Show, as well as a podcast called As We Speak. He also worked on a YouTube series called Sanborn Sessions with his nephew and brother-in-law.

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