*Andrew Woolfolk, a longtime saxophonist for Earth, Wind & Fire, has passed away at age 71.
His death was announced Monday on social media by lead singer Philip J. Bailey.
“We lost him today, after being ill of over 6 years,” Bailey wrote on Instagram, alongside a photo of the two. “He has Transitioned on to the forever, from this Land of the dying to the Land of the Living.”
As reported by USA Today, it’s unclear what illness Woolfolk was battling.
“Great memories. Great Talent. Funny. Competitive. Quick witted. And always styling. Booski… I’ll see you on the other side, my friend,” Bailey concluded his post.
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Here’s more from CNN:
Woolfolk joined the band in the early 1970s, according to the band’s official roster. The EW&F lineup changed often throughout the years, but Woolfolk officially played the sax (as well as flute and percussion) with the group on and off until 1993.
But he hadn’t originally planned on joining the band — as Bailey describes in the 2014 memoir “Shining Star: Braving the Elements of Earth, Wind & Fire,” Woolfolk was studying music in New York when Bailey called him and asked him to join the group after the two had played together in Denver. Woolfolk became known as one of the “original nine,” Bailey wrote.
Bailey also noted in his memoir that Woolfolk was a “prankster” who “might fill your hotel room trash can with hot water and balance it atop your bedroom door, just waiting for you to return late at night.”
Farewell to Earth, Wind & Fire saxophonist Andrew Woolfolk (Oct 11, 1950 – April 24, 2022) whose solos graced many of their iconic songs. He shone in this superb live performance of Time Is On Your Side https://t.co/y7k834LsSm off their 1972 LP Last Days And Time. #AndrewWoolfolk pic.twitter.com/UljcGznQwV
— DJ Moon Ra (@JointzOfTheDay) April 27, 2022
Some notable acts that Woolfolk recorded with include Phil Collins, Deniece Williams, Twennynine and Level 42. He also played on Bailey’s 1984 and 1986 albums, “The Wonders of His Love” and “Triumph.”
In 2000, Earth, Wind & Fire was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.