Jazz saxophonist Washington Jr. dies

Death follows TV performance

Renowned American jazz saxophonist Grover Washington Jr. died in New York from an apparent heart attack, just minutes after taping a television performance, a hospital spokesman said.

Washington, 56, was brought to St. Luke’s-Roosevelt hospital Friday evening after collapsing in his dressing room after taping a performance for CBS’ Saturday “Early Show,” said spokesman Jim Mandler.

The performance aired on Saturday morning, with Washington looking in fine form as he played with a six-member band and showing no obvious sign of fatigue or illness.

A CBS security guard gave Washington CPR in his dressing room but was unable to revive him. After learning of the musician’s death, CBS producers discussed whether to air his last performance but decided in the end to broadcast it “because it was what he loved,” said the producer.

Washington had been promoting a new album, “Prime Cuts: the Columbia Recordings 1987-99.”

Washington is survived by his wife and two children.

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