This Sunday from 8-9 a.m., it’s another edition of Arts Toronto with your host Mark Wigmore on Jazz FM91
Sonny Rollins is a living jazz legend. His tenor saxophone tone is instantly identifiable; whether weaving through a stream of hard bop, staccato and rhythmic within a traditional calypso melody, bluesy and bombastic, or simply free. Sonny Rollins is one of the last from what he calls the golden era of jazz, his peers including Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell, John Coltrane and Max Roach. At 87, he no longer plays or performs, but he remains busy. In 2017 he donated his personal archive to the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, which is a branch of the New York Public Library. More recently, he endowed the “Sonny Rollins Jazz Ensemble Fund” at Oberlin College in Ohio, in “recognition of the institution’s long legacy of access and social justice advocacy.” And there’s an ongoing campaign to pay tribute to Sonny’s jazz contributions by renaming the Williamsburg Bridge in New York City. In the early 1960s, Sonny became frustrated with the limitations of his sound and decided to take a break from the music business. He started practicing under the Williamsburg Bridge, putting in thousands of hours of practice. In 1962, he returned to the music world and released his comeback recording, aptly named The Bridge. Sonny calls the idea of renaming the iconic landmark, “Fantastic”, and the mission is ongoing. Sonny Rollins speaks to Mark Wigmore from his home in Woodstock, NY about The Bridge, jazz in the modern age, and his relationship with the Universe!
And speaking of New York, it’s Grammy weekend, and for only the second time in the last 20 years, the Award ceremonies will be held in The Big Apple. Mark has a preview of the Jazz Categories, profiling everyone from Joey DeFrancesco and Cecile McLorin Salvant, to Michael Buble and Jane Bunnett with Maqueque.
All that, Garvia Bailey’s ‘Giant Steps’ remembers South African Jazz legend Hugh Masekela, and beautiful jazz for a Sunday morning.
Catch the show from 8-9am on Sunday or online at jazz.fm
Looking ahead to the February 4th edition of Arts Toronto:
Celebrating Black History Month with Obsidian Theatre & Toronto Fashion Week designer Jordan Erin McKay