Sonny Rollins Opens Kimmel Center Series in Philly

Classic Arts Features   Sonny Rollins Opens Kimmel Center Series in Philly
Jazz icon Sonny Rollins kicks off the Kimmel Center Presents 2009-10 season Sept. 25 as part of a 23-city international tour. Other series offerings will include Christian McBride, Bruce Hornsby, Joe Lovano and Kurt Elling.


Rollins, who turns 79 on September 7, is one of the few remaining titans of a golden era of jazz, having recorded more than 80 albums alongside all-time greats such as Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane. Rollins' most recent release, Road Shows, Vol. 1 (2008), has received numerous accolades the past year including DownBeat's Critics Poll "Jazz Album of the Year" and "Jazz Artist of the Year" honorary distinctions in August 2009.

Rollins will showcase his improvisational genius in jazz standards as well as original material intended for a 2010 studio recording.

This is the first performance in the Jazz Fridays Series scheduled for the Kimmel Center Presents 2009/10 season. The next concert in the series will be Christian McBride and Friends featuring Bruce Hornsby and Inside Straight on Friday, October 16, 2009 at 8pm.

Tickets for Sonny Rollins are $36, $51, $66 and $79 and can be purchased by calling 215-893-1999, online at, or at the Kimmel Center box office open daily from 10am to 6pm and later on performance evenings.

A limited number of $10 tickets are available for every Kimmel Center Presents performance at the Kimmel Center. Tickets go on sale the day of the event and can be purchased at the Kimmel Center box office at 5:30pm prior to evening curtain time and 11:30am for matinees. Limit one ticket per person.

For full season information, visit


Friday, September 25, 2009 8 PM
Verizon Hall
Jazz Fridays Series

Sonny Rollins, tenor saxophone
Clifton Anderson, trombone
Bobby Broom, guitar
Bob Cranshaw, bass
Kobie Watkins, drums
Sammy Figueroa, percussion


Sonny Rollins recently completed a summer jazz circuit of festivals in Europe, which included performances in Sweden, Germany and France, as well as Toronto, Canada. Throughout 2009, his album Road Shows, Vol. 1 (2008) received tremendous praise by critics and journalists, solidifying Rollins' place as an inimitable jazz giant: Village Voice Jazz Critics Poll deemed the album "Jazz Album of the Year." Rollins was also named "Top Tenor Saxophonist" and "Musician of the Year" at the 2009 Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Awards. In May 2009, Rutgers University presented an honorary doctorate to Rollins for his dedication to jazz.

In addition to two Grammy Awards, Rollins received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences in 2004. He was a recipient of the prestigious Polar Music Prize in Stockholm, Sweden in May 2007. In 2005, Rollins established his own label, Doxy Records, on which he has released the Grammy-nominated Sonny, Please (2006) and Road Shows, Vol. 1 (2008). His first concert DVD, In Vienne (2008), showcases a live concert at the 2006 Jazz _ Vienne Festival.

Harlem, New York native Walter Theodore "Sonny" Rollins began his career at the age of 11, and has since become one of jazz's most prolific figures. Rollins is renowned worldwide for his signature stream-of-consciousness style and his ability to rework old melodies, making them fresh and unique. Among some of his most notable accomplishments, Rollins' recordings with Miles Davis: "Airegin," "Doxy" and "Oleo": have become jazz standards; his critically acclaimed album Saxophone Colossus (1956) elevated Rollins to legendary status as an innovator in thematic improvisation; and The Bridge (1962), inspired by jam sessions on the Williamsburg Bridge during the first of his famed sabbaticals from music, became one of Rollins' best-selling records.

Visit Sonny Rollins' Official Website

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