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Jazz Musician 'Gato' Barbieri Dies at 83 

  • VOA News

Gato Barbieri arrives at the Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year Tribute honoring Roberto Carlos at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nov. 18, 2015.

Gato Barbieri arrives at the Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year Tribute honoring Roberto Carlos at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nov. 18, 2015.

Latin jazz saxophonist Leandro "Gato" Barbieri has died. He was 83.

Barbieri won a Latin Grammy lifetime achievement award last year for his career, which the Latin Recording Academy described as covering "virtually the entire jazz landscape."

In 1973, he won a Grammy for the music he created for Bernardo Bertolucci's film, Last Tango in Paris, which starred Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider.

Barbieri was born in Argentina to a family that included several musicians, but he did not start playing an instrument until he was almost a teenager.

After hearing Charlie Parker's recording of Now's the Time, Barbieri began playing the clarinet. He later switched to the alto saxophone and then the tenor sax.

'Gato' nickname

In the 1950s, he got his nickname "gato," which mean "cat" in Spanish, because of the way he scurried between clubs with his saxophone for gigs.

He recorded dozens of albums over a career spanning seven decades.

Although Barbieri had been in poor health recently, he continued to perform. His last appearance was in November at New York's Blue Note Jazz Club where he wore his trademark black fedora.

A public memorial is being planned.

Some material for this report came from AP and AFP.

WATCH: Related video of Leandro "Gato" Barbieri

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