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Fred Anderson, R.I.P.

Saxophonist Fred Anderson, whose Chicago club, The Velvet Lounge, is known as one of the cradles of contemporary jazz, has died. He was 81.

The Louisiana-born Anderson performed in relative obscurity until the his rise to prominence in the 1990s. Music companies began to release his recordings to relatively favorable reviews, and he became a regular on the jazz-festival circuit in the United States and Europe.

Mr. Anderson opened the Velvet Lounge in Chicago in 1982. Few details are available currently about the cause of his death.

Matana Roberts, a Jazz artist/composer (The Chicago Project and Coin, Coin) and Chicago native, said of Fred Anderson, “Mr. Anderson kept a lot of Chicago youth off the street by keeping a lot of us on the  stage. I will always be incredibly greatful to him. I wouldn’t be a performer if it wasn’t for his intial belief in my musical offerings.”

He will be missed by all of us who loved his immense talents.