Sonny Rollins Tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins will be presented with the Jazz Foundation of America's Lifetime Achievement Award on Thursday, October 22, at the Apollo Theater during the foundation's 14th Annual "A Great Night in Harlem" gala concert.
The concert segment honoring Rollins will feature performances by Donald Fagen (of Steely Dan), Jimmy Heath, Jack DeJohnette, Gary Bartz, Billy Harper, Randy Brecker, Clifton Anderson, Kenny Garrett, Ravi Coltrane, Al Foster, James Carter, Wallace Roney, the Cecil Bridgewater Big Band, and more.
"What a privilege it is to have Sonny Rollins grace the stage," says Wendy Oxenhorn, Jazz Foundation of America's Executive Director. "[Musical director] Steve Jordan has gone above and beyond to make this a fitting tribute worthy of Sonny's genius in return for all the decades of the music he has given to the world. For us and the Great Legends who are coming out for Sonny, this is our humble attempt to say 'thank you.'"
For 26 years, the Jazz Foundation of America has been keeping jazz and blues alive by helping musicians who played with everyone from Duke Ellington and Billie Holiday to Jimi Hendrix and the Rolling Stones. The organization now assists in more than 5000 cases a year nationwide -- preventing homelessness and eviction by paying rents and mortgages; providing free medical care and operations; maintaining a Musicians' Emergency Fund to address a wide range of crises.
"What a necessary, wonderful organization!" says Rollins. "I've been aware of the Jazz Foundation's work for many years now, including the assistance they've given to so many of my colleagues. I'm honored to receive this award from them and to lend them whatever support I can now and in the future."
Rollins is presently completing work on a new album in his Road Shows series of live performances for release by his label, Doxy Records. Holding the Stage: Road Shows, vol. 4 will be released on April 8, 2016 under a distribution agreement with Sony Music Masterworks and its jazz imprint OKeh Records.