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Celebrations for Femi Kuti’s longest saxophone note record cut short

By | Published on Wednesday 10 May 2017

Femi Kuti

Nigerian musician Femi Kuti celebrated at the weekend, believing he had broken Kenny G’s record for the longest ever note played on a saxophone. And while he did beat the American easy listening saxophonist at a concert last week, it turns out Kenny G wasn’t the actual record holder.

G played a single note for 45 minutes and 47 seconds in 1997, using the circular breathing technique – where the player breathes in through their nose and out through their mouth continuously. Kuti lasted 46 minutes and 38 seconds at a show on Sunday, according to Pulse NG.

Initially celebrating his win, it was subsequently pointed out that another US saxophonist, Vann Burchfield, actually broke Kenny G’s record in 2000, playing for 47 minutes and 5.5 seconds.

No problem, said Kuti, he “will work to achieve the 50 minute mark”.

Even if he does though, it won’t be recorded by Guinness World Records. The organisation said that the category for the longest note using circular breathing was “rested several years ago” and it now only accepts “claims not using circular breathing”.

The good news is, if Kuti wants a listing in the big book of records, the Guinness recognised achievement – ie long notes without circular breathing – won’t take anywhere near as long to break. Held by Turkish musician Alpaslan DurmuĊŸ since last year, the record currently stands at 1 minutes and 52 seconds. Kuti could also go for the longest burp, which apparently stands at 1 minute 13 seconds 57 milliseconds.



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