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Jazz legend, Pharoah Sanders dies at 81

American jazz legend Pharoah Sanders, who pushed the boundaries of saxophone playing, has passed away at the age of 81.

Luaka Bop, Sanders record label announced the death, saying the saxophonist died “peacefully”, surrounded by family and friends in Los Angeles.

Sanders was a leading figure in what is often called spiritual jazz, which took influences from Asian and African traditions.

His expressive style made him a sought-after musical collaborator.

Born as Farrell Sanders in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1940, the jazz legend began his career in Oakland, California before moving to New York in the early 1960s where he collaborated with Sun Ra, who is believed to have encouraged Sanders to take the name Pharoah.

Writing by Muzha Kucha