Entertainment & Arts

US saxophonist Gil Bernal dies aged 80

US saxophonist Gil Bernal, who worked with artists such as Spike Jones, Lionel Hampton and Ry Cooder, has died in Glendale, California aged 80.

Bernal died in hospital of congestive heart failure on 17 July, his family told the Los Angeles Times.

The Los Angeles native performed on 1950s track Smokey Joe's Cafe and worked with Cooder on his 1997 Cuban music album Buena Vista Social Club.

He also performed on Cooder's 2005 concept album Chavez Ravine.

According to Mike Stoller, co-writer of Smokey Joe's Cafe, Bernal "could take eight bars and make it very exciting in a middle of a vocal performance".

Bernal is survived by his wife Harriet, two sons and three daughters.

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