Legendary jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins Debuts at Orchestra Hall

DETROIT, (Mar. 15, 2010) – American jazz tenor saxophonist and improviser Sonny Rollins will make his solo debut at Orchestra Hall on Apr. 6, 2010 at 8 p.m. Rollins is one of the few surviving icons of the golden era of jazz, having collaborated with such legendary jazz contemporaries as John Coltrane, Miles Davis and Max Roach. The concert, part of the Bank of America Paradise Jazz Series, will be preceded by the Civic Jazz Live! featuring the DSO’s Civic Jazz Orchestra in The Music Box at 6:30 p.m.

Walter Theodore “Sonny” Rollins was born in Harlem, New York on Sept., 7, 1930, of parents native to the Virgin Islands. His older brother Valdemar and sister Gloria were also musically inclined, but only Sonny veered away from classical music after his uncle, a professional saxophonist, introduced him to jazz and blues. By the time he was out of school, Rollins was already working with big-name musicians such as Bud Powell, Fats Navarro, and Roy Haynes.

In the 1950 and 60s, Rollins played in the Max Roach–Clifford Brown Quintet, one of the most definitive hard-bop ensembles of its day. He recorded The Bridge in 1961 with Jim Hall and Bob Cranshaw, led a quartet with trumpeter Don Cherry and drummer Billy Higgins, and recorded with his idol Coleman Hawkins. He also received a Grammy nomination for his score for the popular film Alfie. He won his first performance Grammy for This Is What I Do (2000), and his second for 2004’s Without a Song (The 9/11 Concert), in the Best Jazz Instrumental Solo category (for “Why Was I Born”). Sonny, Please was nominated for a best jazz album Grammy in 2006. In addition, Sonny received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences in 2004. Most recently, he was named best tenor saxophonist in the 2008 Down Beat Critics’ Poll and the Jazz Times Readers’ Poll, and by the Jazz Journalists Association in their June 2008 awards event.

Tickets for Sonny Rollins on Apr. 6 range in price from $22 to $73 with a limited number of box seats available for $108. Tickets may be purchased and/or reserved at the DSO Box Office (3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit), by calling the DSO at (313) 576-5111 or by visiting www.detroitsymphony.com.


Bank of America Paradise Jazz Series

Sonny Rollins

Sonny Rollins, saxophone

Orchestra Hall

Tue., Apr. 6 at 8 p.m.

The DSO does not appear on this program

Concert preceded by Civic Jazz Live! Featuring the Civic Jazz Orchestra in The Music Box at 6:30 p.m.

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