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Saxophonist Sonny Fortune performs at Brooks Hall, UVa

  Saxophonist Sonny Fortune
Performs at Brooks Hall, UVa
Friday January 28, 2010, 8pm

Sonny Fortune

On Friday January 28th at 8:00 p.m., The Charlottesville Jazz Society and WTJU-FM welcome famed jazz saxophonist Sonny Fortune to Brooks Hall on the grounds of the University of Virginia.  Sonny will be performing with The Mike Wade Quartet from Cincinnati.

Howard Mandel of Downbeat magazine says: "Of all of Trane's lasting contributions, perhaps the greatest to the future of improvised music was his example of spiritual integrity and physical drive. Sonny blows with both."

Originally from Philadelphia, Sonny Fortune decided to pursue a career in jazz at the age of 18.  In 1967 he moved to New York, saying "Eventually, in order to find out if you really have what it takes, you have to go to the center, and that's New York…”

After a brief stint with Elvin Jones and Frank Foster, Fortune, an early admirer of John Coltrane, Charlie Parker and Sonny Rollins, joined Mongo Santamaria's group for over 2 years, before joining McCoy Tyner for the next 2 1/2 years. During this period, Fortune cemented an already solid reputation as an instrumental innovator with his contributions on Tyner's albums Sahara, Song For My Lady, and Song of the New World.

In 1974, Miles Davis offered Sonny a job in his legendary jazz/rock fusion group. Fortune had previously turned down the same offer to stay with Tyner, but decided to accept the opportunity to move on to something completely new.  Fortune, now accomplished on clarinet, flute, soprano, tenor and baritone sax, recorded four albums with Miles, including Big Fun, and Get Up With It.

Over the years Sonny has also recorded with such greats as Dizzy Gillespie, Elvin Jones, Oliver Nelson and George Benson, to name a few. In 1975 Sonny formed his own group, marking his debut as a leader with two critically-acclaimed albums for A&M Records,  Awakening and Waves of Dreams. He has released numerous recordings since then, including three Blue Note CD's that received rave reviews.

During his career trumpeter Mike Wade was named one of the top ten unsigned jazz brass players by Jazziz Magazine.  He has performed and/or recorded with such artists as David “Fathead” Newman, Clark Terry, and Jon Hendricks. His Quartet includes some of the best Cincinnati area jazz musicians.

Tickets to Sonny Fortune’s performance at Brooks Hall, available at the door only, are $15 general admission, $10 for all students and for members of the Charlottesville Jazz Society. For more information visit The Charlottesville Jazz Society, or call (434) 249-6191.

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