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Pharoah Sanders at the DC Jazz Festival

Despite waning stamina, still capable of brilliance

Pharoah Sanders, DC Jazz Festival, 2013
Pharoah Sanders, DC Jazz Festival, 2013

Pharoah Sanders has not unfairly earned the reputation of an esoteric, challenging musician, taking all of the complexity of his mentor John Coltrane’s music and adding the heavy use of overblowing and harmonics to the mix. Yet while he has gained this reputation with his intense and relentless recordings, Sanders’s spirited live shows have found him a dedicated audience that delights in both his engaging persona and brilliant saxophone work.

Sanders performed six shows over three nights at Washington’s Bohemian Caverns as part of the 2013 DC Jazz Festival. Each of the six shows sold out well in advance, and tickets to see the legend became one of the hottest commodities of the festival.

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