David Sanborn

Renowned and revered the world over as one of the greatest saxophone players of all-time, David Sanborn is an artist whose music has inspired countless other musicians while creating a body of work that spans the genres of rock ‘n’ roll, R&B, pop and jazz. A naturally gifted performer, David has helped defined the saxophone’s modern sound while influencing a generation.

Born July 30, 1945 in Tampa, Florida, David William Sanborn contracted polio when he was only 3 years old. As a part of his rehabilitative therapy, David was introduced to the saxophone. It was an introduction with consequences quite beyond the imagination of his parents, doctors - or anyone else. The selection of the alto sax - a favourite from David’s days spent listening to the radio - would prove to be a pivotal moment in the development of his sound.

Growing up in St. Louis, Missouri, David was tremendously inspired by the rich legacy of great Chicago blues artists who would play their way through town. Before he was finished high school, David had played with names such as Albert King and Little Milton. “When I was 17 or 18,” David has said, “And it was time to figure out what to do with my life, I realized that I didn't enjoy anything as much as I enjoyed playing music. I felt that I had no choice, that I HAD to become a musician. Either that or steal cars.”

David studied music for a year at Northwestern University before transferring to the University of Iowa. By 20, he was married and the proud father of a son - Jonathan Sanborn - for whom each of David’s records have been dedicated. A phone call from an old friend in San Francisco - drummer Teddy Steward - convinced David to head for California. It was while in San Francisco that another old friend - Phillip Wilson - who had recently joined the Butterfield Blues Band, invited David to Los Angeles to sit-in on recording sessions with the band. “I got on a Greyhound bus from San Francisco to LA, took a bus into Hollywood, slept on the floor of Phillip's hotel room and went to the studio with him.” David has said. “Just had my horn. I think it was because I looked so pathetic, standing there with my horn, Paul Butterfield said, “Why don't you just come and play on a tune?” I sat in and I did okay. And I was with Butterfield for almost five years.”

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August 04, 2019

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase: Celebrating David Sanborn

August 01, 2019

Double Vision Revisited Comes To Cleveland August 17th Featuring Bob...

April 13, 2016

Jazz this week: David Sanborn, Nicole Johänntgen, Tyshawn Sorey, The...

October 17, 2014

Review: David Sanborn at Jazz at the Bistro

October 08, 2014

Jazz This Week: David Sanborn, Rebirth Brass Band, Chick Corea, Ku-Umba...

September 15, 2014

David Sanborn And Van Morrison Headline Limerick Jazz Festival...

March 28, 2014

Jazz This Week: Mwata Bowden, a David Sanborn Tribute, "Newport Jazz...

June 30, 2013

STLJN Saturday Video Showcase: David Sanborn and Bob James Team up...

April 04, 2013

Bob James and David Sanborn Pay Tribute to Dave Brubeck and Paul...

August 23, 2012

Jazz This Week: David Sanborn and Brian Culbertson, Steve Davis, Dave...

August 19, 2012

STLJN Saturday Video Showcase: David Sanborn and Brian Culbertson's...

July 20, 2012

Post-Dispatch Reports Plans for David Sanborn Jazz Festival in St. Louis

June 28, 2012

David Sanborn 2-disc Anthology Out July 31; Summer Tour Dates

June 06, 2012

David Sanborn, Brian Culbertson to Perform Thursday, August 23 at the...

August 08, 2011

More from David Sanborn

August 05, 2011

Jazz This Week: DMS with George Duke, Marcus Miller and David Sanborn,...

May 19, 2011

George Duke, Marcus Miller, David Sanborn (DMS) at the Keswick Theatre...

May 11, 2011

That Motown Swing

April 30, 2011

David Sanborn, George Duke and Marcus Miller to Play Sunday, August 7...

April 28, 2011

George Duke, Marcus Miller, David Sanborn: Summer Tour

Photos (65)


Only Everything

Only Everything

Decca Music Group

Here & Gone

Here & Gone

Decca Music Group

Here & Gone

Here & Gone

Decca Music Group



Verve Music Group



Cristal Records



Miles Davis Miles Davis
Michael Brecker Michael Brecker
saxophone, tenor
Al Jarreau Al Jarreau
Candy Dulfer Candy Dulfer
saxophone, alto
Earl Klugh Earl Klugh
guitar, acoustic
Spyro Gyra Spyro Gyra
Bob James Bob James
Fourplay Fourplay
Kirk Whalum Kirk Whalum

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