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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 16, 2007

David Sanborn Returns To The UI For March 7 Hancher Concert

Saxophonist David Sanborn, who was a University of Iowa music student in the mid-1960s, will return to Iowa City with his band for a concert at 7:30 p.m.  Wednesday, March 7, in Hancher Auditorium.

To mark Sanborn's return, Hancher will offer a pre-performance Iowa feast. Advance reservations are required. The café doors will open at 5:30 p.m., with dinner served at 6 p.m.

Effortlessly bridging the sounds of pop, jazz, R&B and rock, Sanborn has helped to define the sound of the modern saxophone with two decades of best-selling albums, winning six Grammy Awards along the way.

His latest CD is "Closer," a mostly instrumental recording on the Verve label. A review in JazzTimes commented, "Sanborn proves to be a compelling balladeer, spiking the melody with his percussive attack and fueling the melodies with hot-blooded lyricism."

Growing up in St. Louis, Sanborn was inspired by the great Chicago blues artists who performed there. Before he was finished high school, he had played with Albert King, Little Milton and other prominent artists. "When I was 17 or 18 and it was time to figure out what to do with my life, I realized that I didn't enjoy anything as much as I enjoyed playing music," he says. "I felt that I had no choice, that I had to become a musician. Either that or steal cars."

He studied briefly at Northwestern University before transferring to the UI. After leaving Iowa for Los Angeles, he hooked up with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band for five years, including a performance at Woodstock. Within a week of the break-up of that band, he was touring with Stevie Wonder, and was featured on his "Talking Book" recording. Then it was on to rock, with the Rolling Stones, Tommy Bolin and David Bowie, including the "Young Americans" album.

At the same time he began his remarkable run of solo recordings with "Taking Off," while also performing with artists including Paul Simon, Linda Ronstadt, Muddy Waters, Joe Beck, the Eagles and James Taylor, and finally scoring massive popular hits with his 1980 "Hideaway" album and the Grammy-winning "Voyeur" in 1981.

Since then Sanborn's career has been a virtual non-stop string of hits and awards, connecting him with a remarkable array of popular music's top performers and recording artists, including Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, Carly Simon, Aaron Neville, Eric Clapton, Steely Dan, James Brown, Al Jarreau, the Brecker Brothers, Manhattan Transfer, Lenny Kravitz, Todd Rundgren, John McLaughlin, Roger Daltry, Michael Franks, Cat Stevens, Toto, Mick Jagger, Elton John, George Benson, Aretha Franklin, Roberta Flack, Bonnie Raitt, Patti Smyth, Mose Allison, Ian Hunter, Mark Murphy, Chaka Khan, Bryan Ferry, Take 6 and Bob James. He has even been a regular guest with David Letterman's "Late Show" band.

"It's just a continuous process of trying to learn new things," he says. "I'm thinking about the same thing any other musician is thinking about: trying to find a good reed, getting to the next gig and enjoying myself. As you get older, you become less driven and develop a perspective that you've got time, that things will come back and around again. You see things cycling so much, and it's reassuring because it gives you a sense of the flow of life.

"I try to communicate with other people. If I do, great. And if I don't, OK. The idea is to keep an open mind and try to keep learning. The one great lesson of music is that you never get to the end of it. You never master any of it, because there's always something new to learn and experience."

During his return visit to the UI, Sanborn will also hook up live from the Hancher stage with students throughout the state on the Iowa Communications Network.

David Sanborn's concert is supported by the Riverside Casino & Golf Resort.

Tickets are $42/39/36; UI student $37.80/15; senior citizen $37.80/35.10/32.40. Discounted concert tickets are available as part of volume purchases: A simultaneous purchase of five events or more qualifies for a 15-percent discount. Dinner tickets are $26.

Hancher Auditorium box office business hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. From the local calling area, dial 319-335-1160. Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial 319-335-1158, which is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

Tickets may be ordered on-line 24 hours a day, seven days a week through Hancher's website:

Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction. Information and brochures may be requested by e-mail at

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to, click the link "Join or leave the list (or change settings)" and follow the instructions.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073; cell: 310-430-1013;

PHOTOS are available at