Gato Barbieri, Argentine jazz saxophonist, Died at 83


Leandro Barbieri was born on November 28, 1932, and died on April 2, 2016.

Also known as Gato Barbieri (Spanish for “the cat” Barbieri),

He was an Argentine jazz tenor saxophonist and composer.

He rose to fame during the free jazz movement in the 1960s and is known for his Latin jazz recordings of the 1970s.

He came from to a family of musicians, Barbieri began playing music after hearing Charlie Parker’s “Now’s the Time”.

Barbieri was a clarinet player and later the alto saxophone while performing with the Argentinean pianist Lalo Schifrin in the late 1950s.

As the early 1960s approached, while playing in Rome, he also worked with the trumpeter Don Cherry.

Inspired by John Coltrane’s late recordings, as well as those from other free jazz saxophonists such as Albert Ayler and Pharoah Sanders, he began to develop the warm and gritty tone with which he is associated.

Also, to his many works he was fusing music from South America into his playing and contributed to multi-artist projects like Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra and Carla Bley’s Escalator Over The Hill.

Leandro’s score for Bernardo Bertolucci’s film Last Tango in Paris earned him a Grammy Award and led to a record deal with Impulse! Records.

Leandro Barbieri received the UNICEF Award at the Argentinian Consulate in November 2009.

Leandro Barbieri passed away at 83 yrs old.