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Saxophonist Sir John Dankworth dies

Saxophone player Sir John Dankworth has passed away at the age of 82.
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British saxophone player Sir John Dankworth has died at the age of 82, his wife singer Dame Cleo Laine has announced.

His highly varied career saw Sir John act as musical director to Nat King Cole and Ella Fitzgerald, as well as composing the theme tunes to television shows Tomorrow's World and The Avengers.

News of his passing has led to tributes from the likes of musician Jamie Cullum, who called Sir John a "genius", and broadcaster Paul Gambaccini.

Speaking to BBC 6 Music, radio presenter Jez Nelson labelled him as "British jazz royalty" and the first figure involved in the genre from the UK to be taken seriously across the world.

"He was also a fantastic composer. He leaves a great body of work, music that he wrote and arranged, and he was a great saxophonist of course," Mr Nelson added.

Dame Cleo told the audience at a charity concert about the death of her husband at the end of her performance, where she was joined by their children, Alec, a double bassist, and singer Jacqui.

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Posted on 8 Feb 2010 18:00 to category : Music News

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