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Jazz saxophonist Pharoah Sanders has died at the age of 81, according to an announcement Saturday by record label Luaka Bop and a statement from his representative.
“We are devastated to share that Pharoah Sanders has passed away,” Luaka Bop wrote on Twitter. “He died peacefully surrounded by loving family and friends in Los Angeles earlier this morning. Always and forever the most beautiful human being, may he rest in peace.”
In an email to CNN, Sanders’ representative, Anna Sala, confirmed the musician’s death and called it “a huge loss for the music world.”
“His work influenced many generations of artists,” Sala said.
Sanders’ rich discography includes more than 30 albums dating back to 1965, according to his website.
Born in Arkansas, the prolific musician collaborated with jazz legend John Coltrane throughout the 1960s. In 1988, Sanders earned a Grammy for best jazz instrumental performance, group for his work on “Blues for Coltrane – A Tribute to John Coltrane.”
His musical technique was distinguished by his willingness to innovate and experiment with the saxophone and his transcendent style, sometimes called “spiritual jazz.”
British electronic producer Floating Points was among those who took to social media Saturday to remember Sanders’ life on Saturday.
The artist, who collaborated with Sanders on a collaborative 2021 studio album called “Promises,” shared a photo of himself and Sanders on Twitter.
“My beautiful friend passed away this morning,” Floating Points wrote. “I am so lucky to have known this man, and we are all blessed to have his art stay with us forever. Thank you Pharoah.”