Beloved Saxophonist Andrew Oh Passes Away

1 May 2023 | 8:46 am | Mary Varvaris

“Music was his life and he liked nothing more than to perform and teach his craft to others."

(Andrew Oh by Domenico Stallo on Facebook)

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Singapore-born, Australian-based saxophonist and flautist Andrew Oh has passed away after experiencing issues with his heart.

In the 70s, Oh spent much of the decade working in Hong Kong as a session musician, joining international superstars such as Roberta Flack, Sammy Davis Jr, Bee Gees and The Drifters and more on tour.

By the time the 80s rolled around, Oh was working with Australian musicians, from Daryl Braithwaite to Tommy Emmanuel, Margaret Urlich, Marcia Hines, Grace Knight, Anthony Warlow, Doug Williams, Doug Parkinson, Christine Anu and many more of our musical icons. He also toured with international superstars John Denver, Al Jarreau, Cher, The Supremes, Thelma Houston, Elaine Page, Alfio, Patricio Buane and Josh Groban.

Since releasing his solo albums SILK and a self-titled LP, Oh worked as a session musician, provided corporate entertainment, and offered saxophone and flute lessons.

News of his death broke via Facebook, with his brother Bernard sharing the heartbreaking information.

“Dear friends of Andrew, some of you may be aware of Andrew’s health condition and some of you must be wondering what actually happened to him,” Bernard wrote.

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“Andrew has had some issues with his heart called Atrial Fibrillation, this condition makes the blood flow inside the heart somewhat irregular, which can cause blood clots to form there. This is going back over 10 years.

“He has a mini defibrillator implanted in him which was supposed to regulate the heartbeat and it has done well for him over the years.

“Last year the situation had worsened and towards the end of 2022 he went for an operation called ‘Ablation’.”

Bernard continued, “It uses heat or cold energy to create tiny scars in the heart to block the faulty electrical signals and restore a typical heartbeat.

“Unfortunately the first Ablation performed did not resolve the issue and Andrew had to have another done in February this year.

“Everything was going well as I spoke to him only the weekend before and Andrew told me that he felt so much better now than he has ever felt.

“On Friday 28th April Andrew was meeting a friend for lunch, as he walked into the restaurant he had a massive heart attack. His friend tried CPR for about 10 minutes and the ambulance arrived and tried for another 25 minutes but they could not revive him.

“I would like to thank everyone for their concerns and kind words they have for Andrew, I know he was greatly liked and admired in the music community here.

“Music was his life and he liked nothing more than to perform and teach his craft to others. He will definitely be missed by everyone he knew and especially by his family.

“Thanking each and everyone of you again for all you have done for him.”

Daryl Braithwaite has since offered a tribute to his friend who joined him on The Horses tour. “My thoughts and condolences go out to the Family and friends of the beautiful saxophonist and musician Andrew Oh,” the One Summer singer wrote.

“Andrew was with all of us for The Horses touring band. Rest In Peace.”