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Saxophonist, Velvet Lounge Clubowner Fred Anderson Critically Ill

By Rob Christopher in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 21, 2010 3:20PM

photo of Fred Anderson by Seth Tisue
Sad news: veteran musician Fred Anderson, 81, remains in critical condition at Saint Francis Hospital. After being admitted to the hospital for abdominal pains last Monday he then suffered cardiac arrest, and is still in ICU, apparently in a medically induced coma to allow his body to heal.

Anderson opened Velvet Lounge in 1982, and since then the club has served as a hotbed for jazz experimentation and mentorship. He was one of the original founders of AACM and has had an incalculable influence on where improvised music has been going in last three decades. And he's never stopped working. In fact, he was due to play at the Pritzker in Millennium Park this summer as part of the Made in Chicago Jazz Series. Our thoughts are with him, and here's hoping he makes a full recovery.