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Grammy-winning saxophonist David Sanborn dies before final show at The Birchmere

Saxophonist Davis Sanborn (via Facebook)

Six-time Grammy-winning jazz saxophonist David Sanborn died on Sunday, just days before his scheduled appearance at The Birchmere in Alexandria.

Sanborn, who was 78, died after an extended battle with prostate cancer “with complications,” according to an announcement on his Facebook page. The announcement said the artist had maintained a regular touring schedule despite battling the cancer since 2018, and that he had dates schedules into next year.

Sanborn played with such artists as Miles Davis, Bruce Springsteen and The Rolling Stones, and released 25 albums, with eight gold albums and one platinum album. He was scheduled to appear at The Birchmere on May 15, but had to cancel. In a note to fans, he wrote that he was heartbroken to not be able to attend due to stress fractures in his spine.

Sanborn’s note posted on The Birchmere’s website is below:

To All My Fans, Friends, and Birchmere attendees, I am heartbroken to announce that I will not be able to perform for you on May 15th.

For the last weeks I’ve been dealing with unbelievable pain in my spine that prohibited me from walking, let alone playing my horn. We were finally able to diagnose the issue as two stressed fractures in my spine. Last week I underwent an unexpected spinal surgery. The doctors assure me the procedure was a success, but recovery is 6 to 8 weeks of doing nothing, including not playing my horn.

Believe me, this decision and writing this note is nearly as painful as the procedure. Not the least because I’ve had to postpone on you last year as well. Playing for all of you, fans and supporters, as well as all the wonderful staff at the Birchmere is what keeps me alive. You have my assurance that as soon as I’ve healed, and we can find an open date at the club, I will be back.

Again my heartfelt apologies.

Dave Sanborn

All tickets purchased through Ticketmaster will automatically be refunded. If you purchased at The Birchmere Box Office, refunds are available at the Box Office any night we have a show from 5-9pm.

Image via Facebook