One of the most distinctive and diverse saxophonists in modern jazz, David Sanborn will headline this year's Jazz In June Festival at 9 p.m. Saturday at Andrews Park, 201 E Daws, in Norman, the crowning performance after three days of free live music, after-hours sessions, clinics and lectures.
Sanborn, 66, began his musical career on the advice of a doctor. After contracting polio at age 3, Sanborn's parents were advised that their son should take up a wind instrument to strengthen his compromised lung capacity. He turned out to be a prodigy: By his teens, Sanborn was playing with Chicago blues greats such as Albert King, and in 1969, he played with the Butterfield Blues Band at Woodstock.
In the early 1970s, Sanborn quickly became an in-demand sideman, performing with Gil Evans, Stevie Wonder, Todd Rundgren and David Bowie — he supplied the iconic sax part on Bowie's classic, “Young Americans.”
But Sanborn achieved his greatest success as a solo act, beginning with 1975's “Taking Off.”
Sanborn enjoyed a sizable hit in 1992 with the Latin-tinged single “Bang Bang” and explored the style more extensively on 2005's “Closer.” His recent albums for Decca have included collaborations with Derek Trucks, Eric Clapton, Sam Moore and Joss Stone.
Jazz In June also features Friday performances by What's That and the Bert Dalton Brazil Project at Brookhaven Village. For a full listing of performers and activities, go to www.jazzinjune.org.
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