Jazz Legend David Sanborn Puts His Upper West Side Townhouse Up for Sale for $12 Million

New York Daily NewsJune 12, 2013
Saxophonist David Sanborn’s living room in his upper West Side brownstone has original coffered ceilings made of 100-year old oak. The house is on the market for $12 million.

Saxophonist David Sanborn’s home is as smooth as his jazz. The six-time Grammy winner put his upper West Side townhouse on the market for a cool $12 million.

With two outdoor spaces, original wood paneling, stained glass, coffered ceilings and leather and wood furniture, the $12 million house is understated and comfortable.

Sanborn, 67, uses the library as a meditation room. He recorded six albums in the 20-by-55-foot top-floor music studio with leaded soundproof sheetrock and oversized skylights. He and his wife, Sofia, a teacher, have lived in the house off Columbus Ave. and West 69th Street for almost 25 years.

“I’m in the hub of New York City near Lincoln Center, Central Park, and all these subways, but when I’m in the house it’s like a quiet refuge,” said Sanborn, who is on a world tour for his new album, Quartette Humaine, with pianist Bob James. “We went to great lengths to build the soundproof studio. We blew off firecrackers to test it. No one heard a thing.”

Sanborn digs the area. It’s the first place he moved when he arrived in New York City in the early 1970s. He hits jazz shows at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in Time Warner Center, shops at Trader Joe’s on 72nd St., and dines time-to-time at Ocean Grill. By Sanborn’s count, he’s friends with 30 of his neighbors.

The musician converted the home across the tree-lined street from The Day School from a five-unit building owned by an opera singer to a single-family home. The coffered ceiling in the living room is original to the 1890s classic brownstone.

“When we stripped it down we found this 100 year-old golden oak that felt like butter,” said the Missouri-raised musician who has played with the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, neighbor Paul Simon and Stevie Wonder. “With all the light the house gets, the ceiling glows.”

A loyal friend, Sanborn gave the listing to Shaun Osher, the founder of CORE and a fellow alto saxophonist. Osher met Sanborn in a sax repair shop on 48th Street 20 years ago when he arrived in New York, penniless, from South Africa.

“He was my idol,” said Osher. “We talked, played a little, and went over his house. He’s the real deal. A truly good soul.”

The house, according to real estate executive, has a similar energy.

“It’s got this great comfortable vibe but at the same time some of the greatest musicians of all time climbed the stairs to that loft music studio,” said Osher. “You feel that when you’re there.”

Sanborn and his wife, who have Chihuahuas named Miles (after Davis) and Lucy, are looking for a house in the country.

“I’ll always keep a place in the city,” said Sanborn. “We don’t need this much house anymore.”

CORE super broker team of Tom Postilio and Mickey Conlon share the listing. Stars of HGTV’s Selling New York, the two feel the magic in the house.

“It all begins and ends with the fact that David Sanborn is a jazz man,” said Postilio, an acclaimed cabaret singer. “That’s about as real as you can get.”

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