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Sanborn Seeks Home High Note

David Sanborn
David Sanborn

In 1989, after David Sanborn's career was taking off, the eclectic alto saxophone player purchased a 10-room apartment building on the Upper West Side and converted it into a single family home.

Now he has put the townhouse, complete with a recording studio upstairs, on the market for $9 million, about five times the $1.45 million he paid for it. After more than four decades on the road that included an appearance at the Woodstock festival early in his career, Mr. Sanborn says he is ready for a lifestyle change.

"I have 200 dates a year and I am 65 years old, and I can't keep doing this," Mr. Sanborn says, as he showed off his five-story, stone-and-brick townhouse on West 69th Street. He lives in the home, located just off the bustle of Broadway, with his partner, Sofia Garcia, a kindergarten teacher at the Anderson School on the Upper West Side.

Mr. Sanborn said he decided to reorganize his life, with its endless air travel and bus tours, following the birth of a granddaughter, Genevieve, 14 months ago. Her appearance brought out an urge for more family time, he said.

During a two-year restoration of the townhouse, Mr. Sanborn recreated the original front stoop that had been removed long before his purchase. He put in new molding to match the elaborate coffered-oak ceilings, once layers of finish had been stripped away. He restored the etched- and stained-glass panels.

"I put a lot of love and work into that house," he says. "I brought it back. It has been a haven from the road."

Mr. Sanborn bought the house after, he said, his career had "hit a wave." He joined the Paul Butterfield Blues Band in 1967, and played on the final day of the Woodstock festival in 1969. In the 1970s, he worked as a sideman with major performers and then became a soloist. A series of Grammy-winning albums in the 1980s launched his independent career.

The Wall Street Journal

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