Sonny Rollins, born Sept 7, 1930

President Barack Obama presents Sonny Rollins with his National Medal of Arts.  The National Medal of Arts is the highest award given to artists and arts patrons by the United States Government.

“No one is original. Everyone is derivative.”

“I’m fortunate that I’m making a living at it now because I’m not equipped to do anything else.”

“Jazz is the type of music that can absorb so many things and still be jazz.”

“I simply want to reach a level where I will never cease to make progress…so that, even on the bad evenings, I may never be bad enough to despair.”

“What I can say is that for many years jazz musicians had to go to Europe, for instance, to be respected and to be sort of treated not in a discriminatory way. I don’t think there is anything controversial about me saying that. This is just a fact.”

“I think we are in the midst of this period where we are committing this suicide on the planet and everybody is just using up all of our natural resources like a bunch of insane people. That’s what I worry about more than I worry about jazz.”

Sonny Rollins, Clifford Brown, and Max Roach, 1956

Sonny Rollins Bridge Program


London Jazz Festival, 2012

I miss playing with Miles. I did play with him a little while before he left the planet, but even at that time I longed to maybe do some things together.
(Bret “Jazz Video Guy” Primack)


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