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An alto saxophonist with six Grammy Awards and 24 albums to his credit (eight of which are gold and one of which holds platinum status), David Sanborn dips into pop and R&B, but is especially known for smooth jazz. Sanborn maintains an active touring schedule, sometimes playing concerts on nearly half the days of the year in venues across the United States.
David Sanborn was introduced to his instrument of choice early in life, when he contracted polio at the tender age of three. He was taught to play the saxophone as a therapeutic exercise, and found mentorship in relationships with such musical greats as J. R. Monterose, Albert King and Little Milton. Sanborn went on to study music at Northwestern University and the University of Iowa. He went on to meet and play with legends like Stevie Wonder, the Rolling Stones, Paul Butterfield and David Bowie. He would also collaborate with Paul Simon, Eric Clapton, Carly Simon, Steely Dan, James Taylor, Billy Joel and the Grateful Dead.
Despite Sanborn's early musical beginnings, it wasn't until 1975 - the year he turned 30 - that he released his debut solo album, the aptly-named Taking Off. The album, still considered a jazz classic, rose to No. 19 on Billboard's Jazz Albums chart.
David Sanborn's musical prowess has been recognized with numerous accolades, including six Grammy Awards. After receiving his first Grammy nomination the previous year for "Anything You Want," Sanborn took home his first award in 1982 for "All I Need Is You" in the Best R&B Instrumental Performance category. He won the same award yet again in 1988 for "Chicago Song." He would also win two Best Jazz Fusion Performance Awards in back-to-back years, one in 1986 for "Straight to the Heart" and the second in 1987 for "Double Vision." "Close-Up" earned him a Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Performance in 1989, and the following year saw him take home his most recent award, the award for Best Contemporary Jazz Album, for his 1999 album Inside. He received a nomination for the same award as recently as 2015 for Enjoy the View.