Hall of Fame Previous        Next        
David Sanborn 1996

David Sanborn

Bangkok, Thailand -- 1996

Giddy as a teenage girl is how I felt when I met my sax hero, David Sanborn, for the first time. Backstage after his show at the Golden Jubilee International Jazz Festival in Bangkok, I found him with his head buried deep in a giant briefcase filled with sax repair gadgets. When I was introduced to David, he turned on the charm and was as warm and gracious as could be.

Lotus Blossom, the beautiful ballad from his Heart To Heart album was the first song that pierced my heart and from then on, I was enamored with David Sanborn's music. In the early years of developing my own saxophone sound, I emulated his passion and style by transcribing solo after solo and playing along with his recordings. My original composition, Green Eyes, from my Tigress CD is a tribute to Sanborn's Lotus Blossom.

Arriving in Bangkok to perform for the King of Thailand, you can imagine how ecstatic and humbled I was to find my promotional photo prominently displayed right next to David Sanborn's at the top of the Jazz Festival poster!

Nearly two decades later in 2014, I got a call from my friend, Andre Berry, one of the funkiest bass players I know. We had performed together with the famous funk band, The Brothers Johnson, and then he became the first-call bassist with my own LA contemporary jazz band. Now he was on the road with my hero, David Sanborn(!) and he invited me to his show at Yoshis Oakland.

David Sanborn 2014

Backstage, David was just as sweet as I remembered. We talked for a long while about the sad state of the music industry, the undesirability of having a major label deal, the futility of doing studio recordings, staying fit on the road, saxophone repairs, and meeting up for the first time in Thailand back in 1996 after we each performed for the King. I showed him how cute and handsome he was in our first photo together, and he exclaimed, "You were a babe! What happened to us?"

David Sanborn has been my biggest influence as an alto saxophonist. I've spent countless hours in the practice room learning his music note for note. Still today, I love performing his tunes live with my TIGRESS tribute band (www.SaxTigress.com). Hanging out with Sanborn at Yoshis was an evening I will never forget.

For more about David Sanborn, visit www.DavidSanborn.com.