Argentine jazz great 'Gato' Barbieri dies aged 83

AFP , Sunday 3 Apr 2016

Gato Barbieri
In this Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015 file photo, Gato Barbieri arrives at the Lifetime Achievement and Trustees Awards presentation at the Ka Theater in the MGM Grand Hotel, in Las Vegas. Grammy winning Latin Jazz saxophonist Leonardo “Gato” Barbieri has died at a New York hospital, Saturday, April 2, 2016. (Photo: AP)

Argentine-born jazz saxophonist Leandro "Gato" Barbieri, who won a Grammy for music in the 1972 film "Last Tango in Paris," died on Saturday 3 April, New York's Blue Note Jazz Club said. He was 83.

"Today we've lost an icon, pioneer and dear friend," the legendary club said in a statement posted on Twitter.

"Gato's significant contributions to music and the arts were an inspiration to us all."

Barbieri, born on November 28, 1932, recorded 50 albums during his long career. His last performance was on November 23, 2015, Blue Note said.

He began to play saxophone professionally as a teenager in clubs in Buenos Aires.

His nickname "Gato" -- cat in Spanish -- came early on and his long career "covered virtually the entire jazz landscape," according to his Blue Note biography.

Barbieri became known to a wider audience when director Bernardo Bertolucci chose his trademark tenor saxophone sound as the music for the steamy "Last Tango in Paris," a Hollywood movie starring Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider.

Barbieri's final album, "Shadow," released in September 2002, won a Billboard Latin Jazz Album of the Year award.

Last year he received a Latin Grammy lifetime achievement award.

"Barbieri created a rebellious but highly accessible musical style, combining contemporary jazz with Latin American genres and incorporating elements of instrumental pop," the Latin Recording Academy said when it announced the award.

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