Sonny Rollins: Iconic Jazz Saxophonist at the Kennedy Center
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The last date listed for Saxophonist Sonny Rollins was Wednesday December 2, 2009 / 8:00pm.
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In a packed concert hall at the John F. Kennedy Center last night, Sonny Rollins showed that he is still the Saxophone Colossus at the age of seventy-nine. Limping on stage in a white jacket and sun glasses, Mr. Rollins was greeted by an up-roaring crowd and standing ovation. He wasted no time charging his bop licks over an uptempo rhythm provided by Kobie Watkins (drums), Victor Y. See Yuen (percussion), Bob Cranshaw (electric bass), and Bobby Broom (guitar). Clifton Anderson added the rough, deep trombone sound to the septet.
Mr. Rollins then ripped through the bluesy “Heaven In the Sky” like a young man with a wounded soul. He also poured his heart out on a sentimental tribute to “J. J. Johnson.” The band members are mostly younger than Mr. Rollins and they sure kept him active. Drummer Kobie Watkins played as if he meant rhythm he hit. The passion and emotion expressed on his face were a joy to watch.
Mr. Rollins and his band closed out the night with a highly groovy tune that had a Caribbean flavor to it. Some of the audience members got up and danced along with Mr. Rollins improvisation and interaction. Once again, the crowd cheered on as they exited the stage. Even without an encore, the show was mesmerizing.
The ‘Saxophone Colossus’ returns! One of the rare survivors from a truly golden age of jazz, Rollins’ sinewy, mercurial tenor redefined the term ‘solo’ for sax players everywhere. Iconoclastic, free-spirited and never one to rest easy, this Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner continues to set the bar and inspire generations of jazz musicians.
About the Ticket Supplier: Washington Performing Arts
For 40 years Washington Performing Arts Society has created profound opportunities by connecting the community to artists, in both education and performance. Through live events in venues that criss-cross the landscape of the D.C. metropolitan area, WPAS invites all to share lifelong opportunities to deepen their cultural knowledge, enrich their lives, and expand their understanding of the world through the universal language of the performing arts.
Established in 1965 by impresario Patrick Hayes, the organization flourished under Douglas Wheeler from 1982 to 2002. Now with the inspired leadership of President Neale Perl, Washington Performing Arts Society continues to be widely recognized as one of the leading presenters of the performing arts in the nation.