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Gato Barbieri Obituary

11/28/1932 - 4/2/2016| Visit Guest Book
Gato Barbieri (Photo by Frans Schellekens/Redferns)
Gato Barbieri (Photo by Frans Schellekens/Redferns)
Gato Barbieri, a Grammy-winning Latin jazz saxophonist, has died, according to Billboard. He was 83.

Laura Barbieri, his wife of nearly 20 years, told Billboard that her husband died of pneumonia Saturday in a New York hospital.

"Music was a mystery to Gato, and each time he played was a new experience for him, and he wanted it to be that way for his audience," she said. "He was honored for all the years he had a chance to bring his music all around the world.

Barbieri received a Latin Grammy lifetime achievement award in 2015. The Latin Recording Academy stated that Barbieri created "a rebellious but highly accessible musical style, combining contemporary jazz with Latin American genres and incorporating elements of instrumental pop."

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Barbieri won a Grammy for best instrumental composition in 1973 for his score to the movie “Last Tango in Paris,” which starred Marlon Brando.

He was born in Argentina to a family of musicians. He began playing the clarinet after he heard Charlie Parker’s “Now’s the Time.” He later played the alto sax while playing in an orchestra led by the pianist Lalo Schifrin. He eventually took up the tenor sax and was influenced by John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman. He became part of the free jazz movement. His later music incorporated rhythms from South America.

His last album, “New York Meeting” was recorded in 2010 and featured jazz standards such as Miles Davis’ “So What.”

He is survived by his wife and son.

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Published in The New York Times on April 5, 2016
BARBIERI--Gato. Siento la perdida de mi querido amigo Gato. Fuerte abrazos y condolencias a su familia. I feel the loss of my dear friend Gato. Firm hugs and condolences to his family. Elsa... Read Obituary
Published online on April 2, 2016 courtesy of
Gato Barbieri, a Grammy-winning Latin jazz saxophonist, has died at age 83, according to Billboard. For full obituary and coverage from, click here . Read Obituary

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