Andrew Woolfolk, saxophone player with Earth, Wind & Fire has died, aged 71.
His bandmate Phillip Bailey broke the news this week (April 25) on social media, saying Woolfolk passed after a long illness.
He wrote: “Met him in High School, and we quickly became friends and band mates. Andrew Paul Woolfolk was his name. We lost him today, after being ill of over 6 years.
“He has Transitioned on to the forever, from this Land of the dying to the Land of the Living. Great memories. Great Talent. Funny. Competitive. Quick witted. And always styling. Booski…I’ll see you on the other side, my friend.”
Woolfolk first joined the band in 1972 and played with them until 1985. He later re-joined the band when they returned from a break in 1987 and played with them until 1993.
Bailey, who had known Woolfolk since school, asked him to play with the group after the departure of Ronnie Laws.
Woolfolk’s time with Earth, Wind & Fire covered much of their most acclaimed material, including hits ‘September,’ ‘Shining Star,’ and ‘Boogie Wonderland.’
Woolfolk was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the rest of the band in 2000.
Outside of his work with Earth, Wind & Fire, Woolfolk was a session musician and touring payer for artists including Phil Collins, Level 42, and Deniece Williams.
You can see some of the tributes to Woolfolk here:
Rest well, Andrew Woolfolk. Saxophonist for Earth, Wind & Fire’s classic period. One of my absolute favorites because he made every note count. You may not know his face or his name, but he was an integral part of THE sound. Wow…
Thank you for the music, brother. pic.twitter.com/ppXvLVRiWi
— Brandon Williams (@bwilliamsmusic) April 25, 2022
2000 Inductee Andrew Woolfolk’s expressive saxophone playing was a key contribution to the boldly experimental sound of @EarthWindFire. The band forever changed the face of rock & roll, bringing together thrilling music with uplifting messages of Black pride and spiritual unity. pic.twitter.com/oh95X7NyEt
— Rock Hall (@rockhall) April 26, 2022
“He has Transitioned on to the forever, from this Land of the dying to the Land of the Living.” – Phillip Baileyhttps://t.co/gjJUjRQPqP
— Rochelle Riley (@rochelleriley) April 26, 2022
This is a developing story – more to follow