Sonny Rollins at WPAS at The Kennedy Center

Saxophonist Sonny Rollins is a rare breed of musician. At age 81, he is still touring all over the world and sounds as good as he did on his early recordings. This evening at the Kennedy Center – Mr. Rollins proves that he still has everything that has made him one of the greats for over 50 years.

Sonny Rollins. Photo by John Abbott.

Backed by a stellar group of musicians that featured Peter Bernstein (Guitar), Bob Cranshaw (Bass), Sammy Figueroa (Percussion) and Kobie Watkins (Drums), Mr. Rollins’s performed a seven-song set that brought out all styles of jazz from Be-Bop to all out jamming.

The evening started with a song that was so new the set list just called it “New Song”. That is the beauty of jazz -musicians just putting it together as they go along and creating great art. Other highlights included “Once in a While” and the haunting “Nice Lady,” which featured the percussion players with an extended solo.The performance concluded with “Don’t Stop the Carnival” and the audience felt the same way about the performance – they just didn’t want it to end.

If you get a chance to see or hear Sonny Rollins in concert – I suggest you do so. He is truly a jazz legend.

Running Time: 70 minutes with no intermission.

This was a one night only event.

Sonny Rollins’ website.

Listen to Sonny Rollins play “Tenor Madness.”

Watch and listen to a young Sonny Rollins play “Weaver of Dreams” with the Sonny Rollins Trio in 1959.