This is where you can leave your comments, questions, and more for Sonny.  He reads everything that appears here, but cannot promise to respond .



  1. Tuure Mäkinen
    March 10, 2014

    Hi Sonny, I’d have like million things to say to you, but I try to keep this short.
    I cannot ever thank you enough for music you have offered for us. As a tenor saxophonist myself, your music has great influence on my playing. I also admire your thoughts about living happy and healty life. Money shouldn’t make anyone happy, happiness comes from more important things, like music. One of my biggest dreams is to see you performing live, I had ticket for your last years concert in North sea jazz festival and I was really dissapointed when I heard it was cancelled. Hope you still have enough strength and healthiness to have concert in Europe soon.
    Anyway thank you for reading, take care and keep blowing!

    Kind regards,
    Tuure Mäkinen
    Helsinki, Finland

  2. Darío Donati
    March 10, 2014

    Dear Sonny i hope i can see you some day in Argentina, please come and visit us.

  3. Eric Selya
    March 14, 2014

    Dear Sonny Rollins,
    My daughter Abigail is a huge fan of yours. She loves to listen to your music. I was hoping to give her your autograph for her college graduation from UC Davis June 2015. It would mean so much to her to have your best wishes, thank you so much for all you time, talent, and passion.
    Eric Selya
    2215 Geary Drive,
    Santa Rosa, CA

  4. Jake Acquadro
    March 20, 2014


    I am a tenth grade student in Ridgefield Connecticut, not far from where you live. My goal for the last two years was to play in our exclusive small Jazz Band at my High School and this year that happened for me. Every day I listen to Jazz and I am always blown away by your works, my favorite is Decision. I listen to it almost every night and aspire to play like you some day.

    If I had a bucket list, one of the items on the list would to be to meet you if you would be open to that. You are a legend and it would be an honor to meet you just to shake your hand. I hope to hear from you.

  5. Harry Zeitlin
    March 21, 2014

    You likely don’t remember this, but I, along with my girlfriend at the time, saw you at the Vanguard one night in 1973 (I’d just turned 21). It was a very intense concert and there was a tremendous amount of eye-contact with you. About six weeks later, I ran into you at Rayburn Music in Boston (I was buying my first classical guitar) and you not only remembered me, but perfectly described the woman I was with!
    I was a fan long before and have enjoyed your music since, but that was one of the most intense and profound music-listening experiences I’ve been blessed with.
    Thank you for the pleasure and the insights through music you’ve shared over all these years,

    P.S. Sorry for the multiple websites, but I work in images (photography), music (guitars) and spirit (rabbinic site). It’s a way to share back with you.

  6. terrie j. cramer
    March 22, 2014

    dear mr. rollins: My name is terrie and I hope you can help. My father was George Morrow and my mother Glenine Cramer. I was wondering if you had any info on George, any footage of him playing. My mother passed away in 1972 and I only got to meet my father a few times before her passing. I recently found out he has also passed(1992). Any info and/or film footage would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, sir, for your time. God Bless. Sincerely, Terrie Cramer.

  7. Evette Dorham
    March 23, 2014

    Dear Mr. Rollins,

    I appreciate the music you have created and shared with world over your stellar career. Among the many albums you’ve created among my favorites “Rollins Plays for Bird”, “Alfie”, “Bags Groove”, “Max Roach +4”, “and my favorite “Jazz Contrasts”, with my dad Kenny Dorham.

    I had the pleasure to meet Mr. Primack in 2013 and expressed my wish to be in touch and say hello.

    Maybe in the near future we will have a chance to say hello.

    Peace in jazz,
    Evette Dorham

  8. Ricardo Camacho
    March 24, 2014

    We’re interested in knowing availability&fees for Sonny Rollins for the 26 Teatro Libre Jazz Festival, Sept. 3-6, 2014.

  9. Bill Beran
    March 30, 2014


    I was so touched by the comment left by the 10th grade high school student above. I was just about that age when I discovered jazz and “A Night at the Village Vanguard” was one of the first albums I ever owned. Flash forward a few years, I’m a college student in NYC and you come back from a sabbatical to play the Vanguard–don’t remember the guys you had in your band except for the late Walter Booker on bass. My first exposure to live Rollins, and an unforgettable performance that I still remember well over 40 years later. I’ve seen you many times over the years and you never fail to “lift the bandstand” in Monk’s unforgettable phrase. You are a great American and may you be with us in good health for many more years.

    Bill Beran, Norwalk, Connecticut

  10. James Yeoman
    March 31, 2014

    Sonny! Help! I had a stroke, affected my right side. I gave up waiting and started teaching myself the sax anyway, but my little finger especially has no feeling. Can you suggest any way to play a low e flat without the little finger? I try Donna Lee every day and beyond the lack of speed and other mechanics, I cannot get feeling without that e flat. I listen to all your stuff, from then to now-ish, and if anybody has mastered every possible way to a make a sound on the sax, it is you.
    By the way, I find your playing is very inspiring, pop to free, you sound like you really make a true bond of playing from the soul/gut and thought/brain. I can barely wait for Road Show 3.
    Thanks for this site.

  11. Kael Moffat
    March 31, 2014

    Dear Mr. Rollins, Thank you so much for your music. Hearing “Mambo Bounce” for the first time was a huge musical milestone in my life…comparable to hearing Beethoven’s 9th, Verdi’s “Requiem,” Straviinsky’s “Rite of Spring,” Ellington, Billie Holiday, Davis’s Kinda Blue album, The Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s album, and Philip Glass. I have never had the chance to see you play, but hope you play the Kansas City area soon so I can have the privilege.

    Gratefully yours,
    Kael Moffat

  12. whelan
    April 2, 2014

    Hi Sonny.Hope you are doing well.
    I just want to know when you are planning to play at a NYC venue ?.I have never saw you live and its my dream to do so.I live on Long Island and also willing to travel to other states in the tri-state area.Sonny please !!

  13. David Balderas
    April 11, 2014

    Mi estimado y admirado Sonny Rollins,
    En el programa de radio que transmito en mi ciudad, Querétaro, Qro. México, he pasado muchos de sus discos generados con su gran talento y el de los músicos que lo acompañaron.
    El próximo 1 de mayo el programa cumplirá 31 años al aire y en esos 31 años usted ha estado presente. Por tal motivo, el sábado 3 de mayo proyectaremos el DVD con sus grabaciones en vivo de 1965 y 1968 en su gira por Dinamarca junto a Alan Dawson, Kenny Drew y Niels Pedersen.
    El aporte que usted ha dado al jazz es invaluable. Me congratula el reconocimiento que le fue dado en el Kennedy Center.
    Espero que alguno de sus colaboradores le comparta mi mensaje en inglés.
    Le reitero mi más grande admiración.
    Gracias por su música y Dios le bendiga.
    Sinceramente, David Balderas

  14. Hana Dolgin
    April 13, 2014

    Hello Mr. Rollins,

    I have read that you have some health problems relating to your lungs and cannot perform. I also read an interview that said you moved to Woodstock, NY. I once wrote you about a very special healthy type of water called Kangen water. I have a friend in Woodstock who would be glad to give you some of this water to drink for a while, so you could see the effects of it. This is water made by a medical device from Japan, that has been used in hospitals there for over 35 years and there are many studies on it. I really hope and believe it could benefit your health.
    If you are interested in more info on it, please visit and also feel free to contact me at 917 509 3256 or by email.

    All the best,
    Hana Dolgin

  15. Adam
    April 14, 2014

    Dear Sonny,

    I want to thank you for the great music you have bestowed on this Earth. I am a saxophone major studying jazz performance, and I listen to your albums (specifically A Night at the Village Vanguard) very frequently. I hope someday to get a chance to see you play live, and hopefully at some point get a chance to meet you!

  16. Aria
    April 16, 2014

    Hi Sonny

    I just want to let you know that you are a wonderful inspiration to me. After losing my partner a couple of years ago, I have decided to become a full time hermit and play my saxophone more seriously than ever. I have let go of other interests and endeavours to focus on one of the things I love the best. Unlike so many technically advanced players, you move me with your playing.

    Lots of love to you and all the best.


  17. Gunter
    April 17, 2014

    Hi Sonny, I hope you feeling good. I´m a great fan of your music and I have all your CDs and many LPs but no autographed LP or CD. How can I get an autographed CD or LP. Happy Easter, all the best to you and many greetings from Gunter.

  18. Ben Riddle
    April 18, 2014

    Hi Sonny,

    I hope you’re well and still full of life. Can you say if you will be touring again soon, either worldwide or in America?

    Many thanks

    April 23, 2014



  20. Hannah & Solomon
    April 24, 2014

    Dear Sonny,

    I’ve been lucky to have seen you play a number of times, especially one memorable cutting contest with Branford Marsalis. I first heard you play in 1980 while working at the NPR jazz station in Buffalo. Your “God Bless the Child” won’t be forgotten.

    Speaking of children, mine are ages 11 and 9. They are solid jazz fans and fans of you (and Ben Webster) in particular. We have it in our hearts that you will play in New York City again and that they can see you. I will do everything I can to make sure they will be there when the chance comes.

    Thank you for all you have given us. I hope this note finds you happy and comfortable.

    My best,
    Mark Shulman

    April 26, 2014

    A very warm ,gentle hug from UK !

    No news of any UK visit or gig in the foreseeable future……….

    Just wondering if anything is in the planning ?

    Best regards,

    Stephen King

  22. Brendan E.
    May 1, 2014

    Mr. Rollins,

    Sad as I was that you were unable to perform last year in Saint Louis, I wish you the best in regaining your strength so that I might have the opportunity to see you play. I’m a jazz musician myself and my friend and I deeply admire your music, in fact, one of my favorite songs to jam on is your composition “Doxy”.

    Best wishes,
    Brendan E.

  23. Jeffrey Binder
    May 3, 2014

    Never forget your performance in 1983 at the Museum of Modern Art’s Summergarden concert series — my first internship in High School — what an amazing thing to see you improvise with the sounds of NYC cabs outside the walls of the venue. I hop to see you perform again soon.

    Jeffrey Binder

  24. Randy G
    May 3, 2014

    Hi Sonny, just want to say that I have been a huge fan for years, keep on keepin on ! I also understand you are a neighbor right down the road from my place in Woodstock, so welcome ! As the title say’s it all ” There Will Never Be Another You ” Keep it up.

  25. Mursalata Muhammad
    May 3, 2014


    As I listen to your NPR interview, I’m reminded of how often my mother, Mutasha Muhammad (aka Annette Bobo), spoke of and played your work! She made music an integral part of my life and I’ve passed the lesson on to my children, who both play piano and are familiar with violin, flute, clarinet, and ukelele!

  26. Carol Wyatt
    May 5, 2014

    Hi Sonny,

    Just thinking about you. Hope you’re well and we love and miss you very much.

    Carol Wyatt

  27. Morrie Portnoff
    May 5, 2014

    I am a young 56 and am following a dream to learn the tenor sax. Your music is an inspiration to learn and enjoy the sax. Thanks

  28. Barry Golko
    May 8, 2014

    Hello Sonny,

    My dream to play tenor sax like you never happened. When I got my first job after college I purchased a Selmer Mark VI because I had always played alto sax but dreamed of playing tenor sax. That was back in the 1970’s and my career direction never allowed me to pursue that dream. So now I am moving toward retirement and still have my Selmer Mark VI which needs a new home. I effectively never used this instrument……The finish is impeccable. Sonny, do you or your network of associates know of someone that might be interested in acquiring that instrument? Let me know and thanks for all that you do!


  29. Katie Stephens
    May 14, 2014

    Mr. Rollins, I am a recently discovered that I love jazz—jazz fan and when asked what kind of jazz I like, I answer, “Sonny Rollins, of course”. My parents loved jazz but I always thought it was for old folks. Well, here I am at 49 -ish and absolutely love jazz! My favorite CD’s are The Bridge, East Broadway Run Down and Saxophone Colossus! I hope one day to hear you in person.

    Thank you for your beautiful music!


    Katie Stephens
    Charlotte, NC

  30. Maarten
    May 21, 2014

    Dear Sonny,

    I want to thank you for all the great music and for inspiring people, including myself. When i started studying jazz guitar “no moe” was one of the first tunes i learned to play and i still catch myself whistling it from time to time.

    Recently in an interview i read about your experience with yoga in relation to improvising. I found this very interesting, when i’m improvising i often find myself in situations where i’m overthinking or i’m to easily distracted. The problem is that there is so much information on the topic of yoga in general, i really don’t know where to start looking. It would be really cool if you could share some relevant sources, experiences, methods, exercises, tips… if possible, it would help a lot.

    I wish you the very best and hope you come play in Belgium again sometime,

  31. Luiz Felipe
    May 22, 2014

    Hi, Mr. Rollins! I’m brazilian and I greatly appreciate your work. I wonder if you will come at some opportunity for Brazil. Or if possible, provide a schedule on their website, so we can keep up. Thank you, all good!

  32. isben
    May 23, 2014

    sonny! how was it to play with hawk back then? what was special about the session and newport gig?


  33. Billy Vazouras
    May 23, 2014

    Your inner soul light inspires my alto sax.Greetings from shiny Greece mr Rollins!

    Bless you!


  34. Robert Wuagneux
    May 23, 2014

    Great interview w/ George Bettinger on the Mom and PoP shop!!!
    Thank you Sonny!!!

  35. T.C. Keith
    May 23, 2014

    Hiya Mr. Rollins,
    I just heard you on the Mom&Pop Shop
    and I was truly inspired, you were positively a
    Delight – Take Care and Be Well :)

  36. MoeBanshee's Lair Radio
    May 23, 2014

    I just listened to your interview with George Bettinger on the Mom and Pop show. It was on It was lovely listening to you and hearing your music.! God bless you!


  37. John Bayne
    May 25, 2014

    Hello Sonny, I would like to thank you for your advice to develop the lowest note of the tenor saxophone and then make all of your other notes as much like that one. I first heard of this about 1972 and I have stuck to that ever since. I recently read that you really like a Buescher tenor that you used to kiss goodnight and still own but do not play because it is not heavy enough in sound. I could really help you with that. There is a two fold need a high powered engine, and could have one of my 205gm spun cast solid sterling silver J&D rod rubber Hite copies and I use a Rovner ligature and in my old age I use Vandoren #3.5s I used to use #3.5s and sometimes #5s on my 11* Florida Supertone LInk which Ben Harrod specially made for me in 1974. I was trying to catch up to King Curtis at the time but had a duodenal hemorrhage in 1980 which stopped that project but I pressed on with the 11* till I used to get triple high Cs really easily until I got diverticulitis. From about 1985 hower, I sobered up and gave up the high note thing and really loved my first and only rod rubber mouthpiece the J&D Hite. It absorbs too much sound so I begged David Hite to make me a copy in sterling silver and he, not liking metal mouthpieces said, why not make it yourself, so I did and you may benefit also, I would give it to you as a gift of appreciation. You had it all in 1959 with that King Super 20 was it a silversonic? I had to settle for a late model but it still annhilated MKVIs. I have a saxophone, a world first which is my second recommendation for you. It is electropalte encapsulated with 100 microns of copper INSIDE on the bore, and the same outside then 20 microns silver plating inside and outside and one micron of gold inside and outside. The only problem is that it was an old Julius Kielworth New King, and needs special work, but its sound is the most powerful, deep and heavy and flexible even so. If you are interested email me on PS; You could reward Adolph Sax by helping fulfil his unfulfilled dream, that of acceptance of the saxophone in the symphony orchestra. Try Playing the right hand of J S Bach’s two piano concertos BWV1052 in D minor, I play this as written which then becomes C minor concert, it sounds much better in D minor on the tenor than in E minor, the later is too tinny but easier fingering. the other is BWV 1056 in F minor. Type in David Fray, Largo and Presto and play along with him on the right hand or left hand in G minor it is great.

  38. Barbara Ina Frenz
    May 27, 2014

    Dear Sonny,

    Got your new album – Road Shows 3 – listened to it the whole day today. Love it so much.

    Best of wishes and much L-O-V-E


  39. Cristina Ivaldi
    May 27, 2014

    Over 40 years ago I went to see a boy from my gang to tell him where we were going to meet later. When he opened the door, I heard some music I knew and loved. “What are you listening to?” “Sonny Rollins” he said. That was the first time I really looked at him, and I liked what I saw. He was also impressed – a girl who likes jazz!! so he looked at me too, and he must have liked what he saw, because we have been happily together since – married for 33 years. Still listening to jazz, and particularly fond of your music. Thank you.

  40. S.D. Smith
    June 15, 2014

    Dear Sonny Rollins,
    I want to thank you for leading a life that so beautifully celebrates music, love, and the human spirit. May it be a model for us all. I was viewing a documentary about you today, Father’s Day, and recalled that I purchased my first Sonny Rollins album when my own (wonderful and creative) father passed as I was starting college. Your music became important to me then and has remained so for 35 years. I have been fortunate to attend your live performances (most recently in Detroit in 2012) that were nothing short of thrilling. I am enjoying the Road Show recordings as well as the rest. Thanks again for all that you do. May peace and blessings be yours. With sincere appreciation, Stuart

  41. Barbara Ina Frenz
    June 19, 2014

    Dear Sonny,

    My condolences on the loss of your friend, the beautiful musician and composer Horace Silver. I’m thinking of what you said somewhere in an interview, when asked about your composition H.S. You said you think of Horace Silver as a courageous man and musician. His inspiring music lives on.

    Much LOVE, Barbara

  42. Paul
    June 26, 2014

    Mr Rollins

    I have just discovered your cd “This is what I do” and I am enjoying it very much. Thank you for making so much great music over the years.


  43. Steve Bessler
    June 29, 2014

    Hi Sonny,

    My friend John and I both wish you well and we hope to see you perform again in Philadelphia.

  44. Sebastian
    July 22, 2014

    Dear Mr Rollins,
    I am 14 years old and have been playing tenor for 2 years and loving it more than anything else in the whole wide world. And it wouldn’t of been possible without you. At 12, i was given a CD by my Mum titled Saxophone Colossus (maybe you have heard of it, hahaha) and you enchanted me so i just wanted to say…
    Thank you
    But to my question. After being inspired by you from a young age and picking up tenor I finally have reached a point in my playing so that I have the ability to improvise. Because I believe it takes a good musician to play a song (especially by you) but an even greater musician to create his own. So could you possibly find some time to email me explaining how to create and release my own song. Ohh and please come to South Australia, i would feel honored if I could hear you in person.

  45. Jens
    July 29, 2014

    Dear Mr. Rollins,

    so so much pleasure, confidence, energy and clearity given to me by your presence, by your sound and also by your wonderful thoughts and words.

    NOW I know a question I would have really liked to ask on that Google Hangout date May 2014, though I am not a saxophone player:

    How come that “Nucleus” album?
    What could ever happen around you that, to me, music on every single tune seems to start with Mr. Maupins solos, ending when another one takes over – despite of all you wonderful musicians (I know from many recordings before and after this album)?

    You know, I tried a few times to find out what I am not hearing, though it was a little stressy to hear those sounds – finally I got no idea. Sorry for writing this that directly.

    One of the brightest things in my life (besides my kids, and having heard Monk, and Waldron live, Jimi Hendrix, Marley, and music at all) is that I had the chance to see and hear you live, to hear and think about and spread your words.
    Thank you so much, dear Sonny / Mr. Rollins!

    All the best to you
    aka. alles Gute!

  46. Franck Taschini
    August 2, 2014

    Hi Sonny,
    I hope everything alright for you. I listen to you you always give the joy and energy.
    You inspire me all the time. Take care and God bless you.

  47. Rufus Johnson
    August 4, 2014

    Hello Sonny,

    Just read the satire piece from the New Yorker magazine. I enjoy satire as much as the next person and believe that I have a real appreciation for satire, however I don’t see this piece as being the least bit funny. You are truly an icon and one of my jazz heroes. I hope you live even longer and continue to make great music.

    R. Johnson

  48. Valerie Bishop
    August 5, 2014

    Just watched your live interview addressing your feelings about the ridiculous article that appeared in the New Yorker. You always have your head screwed on right so I almost knew what you were going to say. Bottom Line: Pay attention to doing the right thing individually and don’t worry about the other stuff. You’re always so wise and balanced and therefore I love listening to anything/everything you have to impart.

    I have been a fan of yours since the ’60s and my respect, appreciation and admiration have only grown with the years. It was a thrill also to first meet you in the mid-’60s when our mutual buddy, Walter Bishop, Jr. introduced us at Wells in Harlem. Mem-o-ries!

    I will be looking forward to hearing you next year and in the meantime, keep getting stronger. By the way, you looked hearty and healthy in the video.

    Blessings and love to you, always and forever.

  49. Drew Turner
    August 5, 2014

    Dear Sonny,

    Just wanted say thank you so much for your beautiful music and beautiful spirit . I really enjoyed listening to your message about doing the right thing as an individual in these turbulent times we live in. Jazz is real ! Much love Sonny.

    PS You’re looking good in Red !

  50. Steve Boldt
    August 6, 2014

    Hello Mr. Rollins,
    Funding for jazz is a big issue right now. Can you think of some things that would improve the way jazz is taught?

  51. Barbara Ina Frenz
    August 6, 2014

    Dear Sonny,

    First of all: I hope so much you are doing well!

    Thank you so much for your highly inspired and inspiring response to the TNY piece – you are beautiful.

    The piece hurt me too – I feel so ashamed for what this mean guy did.

    Much L-O-V-E


  52. Eddy Curtis
    August 7, 2014

    The creation, collaboration, and the gift of this art proves there is another dimension we can’t describe that is of pureness and perfection. Thank you for your inspiration to make us better spirits living in out human existence and reality. We know there’s much more to come… Blessings to you Mr. Rollins!

  53. Mike West
    August 7, 2014

    Sonny, regarding the New Yorker thing, thank you for your measured and understanding response to what was basically and idiotic, failed attempt at humour. You gave me so much pleasure in your live performances, and I can only think that if anyone wants to know what “humour” is, is its most humanistic and uplifting form… well, there it was, in your improvisations. Thank you Sonny.

  54. Susan Vaillant
    August 7, 2014

    Dear Sonny, Thank you for your eloquent reply regarding the New Yorker piece and for speaking out on behalf of jazz. We have written a letter to the editor (text copied below) of the New Yorker condemning this gross abuse of journalistic and technological power, we hope others will do the same.

    From two American musicians in Strasbourg, France
    Rick Hannah & Susan Vaillant

    (letter to editor of New Yorker)
    I have read and subscribed to the New Yorker for over 40 years. I am disgusted that the New Yorker would publish and falsely attribute to Sonny Rollins an anti-jazz tirade. Jazz has always been a minority art form, intensely beloved by many but too uncommercial to be more widely successful. Most people know little about jazz and will simply assume, with the New Yorker’s signature, that these statements represent the feelings of a jazz great. If previously the New Yorker distinguished itself with its jazz critic Whitney Balliett; now the New Yorker is bullying jazz. What did jazz ever do to the New Yorker to deserve such bullying? The New Yorker is bullying not only a jazz great in his own right but perhaps the last jazz great who played with nearly all the giants of jazz since the 1940s. In that measure he represents the history of jazz, the history of America’s one authentically original art form. You have attacked America’s cultural patrimony. An unequivocal and unambiguous apology, a public apology in the print edition and on the Internet, is due, and this should cite Sonny’s own wise words about jazz. Your continued silence will otherwise be considered a condoning of this new form of yellow anti-arts journalism and I will have no other choice but to cancel my subscription.

  55. Renzo
    August 8, 2014

    Hi Sonny,

    I want to thank you for your music. I currently play tenor saxophone and I consider you a master of tenor saxophone. I’m from Italy but currently I’m taking my vacation in catskills at Callicoon. Is it possible to meet you? It would be great to talk with you about jazz music .

    A big hug


  56. Jen
    August 10, 2014

    Hi Sonny,
    I know that anything I say here has probably already been said before, however I’d really like to let you know that I find everything about you and your music to be so inspiring. I know you’ll get through this minor setback at the moment . Please, I ask you, as a fan do not stop playing! It would mean the world to me if you could play in Canada! I get that that would be unrealistic but hey, it’s worth a shot. After all, you’ve already blown everyone’s minds before, so why not knock ’em dead again? Take care and keep on swingin

  57. Steve Samuelson
    August 16, 2014

    Thank you so much, Mr. Rollins, for your music and your willingness to express your thoughts and feelings about what you have experienced in your life through music. I recently was deeply moved by something you spoke about in a Google Hangout piece entitled “Spirituality and Improvisation.” The concept that each note one plays–regardless of his or her level of proficiency–can be an access-point to the transcendent beauty in the structures of jazz really spoke to me. As an older student who has loved your music for decades, but only recently returned to playing an instrument, that comment was very encouraging. My teacher tells me to look for the thirds and sevenths for instance, and I imagine these as parts of a reality like a path or something that can be felt as one plays, just like the ground can be felt as one walks–and you can immediately tell if your footing is right or not by how it feels. I hope someday I can learn this terrain enough to appreciate its beauty fully. So thanks so much from my heart for your encouraging comments that speak to people at all levels.

    Steve Samuelson

  58. Cory Garcia
    August 18, 2014

    Thank You!

  59. John Joy
    August 19, 2014

    Hello Mr. Rollins,

    I am a junior at Graham Kapowsin High School in Graham, Washington. I am a very active and involved member in the band program at my school. I serve as the principal French horn in the wind ensemble and as the principal trombone in Jazz Ensemble I. Jazz has always been a major influence in my life. In fact, I am planning on obtaining a minor in jazz performance, as well as a major in horn performance.

    I had the pleasure of meeting the great Conrad Herwig last year. One of the segments of his talk explained how as a jazz musician, one should listen to musicians both on your respective instrument and on other instruments. This being said, I have listened to your music repertoire extensively. Many of your standard tunes such as “St. Thomas” and “Doxy” are among my favorites. Your unique playing style is exquisite and unbelievably inspirational. I would like to sincerely thank you for the contribution that you have made to jazz. You have inspired me and countless other people.

    Every year my high school and the neighboring middle school host a jazz festival. This is such a wonderful opportunity for the many students and bands that attend. Through the festival, we are keeping the spirit of jazz alive and honoring the great jazz legends of the past and present by continuing to play their amazing music. Jazz is America’s first and foremost unique musical style, whether it be swing, blues, bebop, or any other style. As the great Lois Armstrong once said, “Hot can be cool & cool can be hot & each can be both. But hot or cool man, Jazz is Jazz.” Festivals like this ensure that jazz will not only be remembered, but will be played and celebrated for centuries to come. In the past, we have had many famous jazz musicians visit our festival and participate in our evening concert. Some of these musicians include Eric Marienthal, Byron Stripling, and Conrad Herwig. In March, we will be celebrating our 23rd annual jazz festival. I would like to personally invite you to attend our festival as our special guest. It would be an honor to have one of the greatest jazz musicians and tenor saxophonists in history visit our jazz festival. Thank you for your time and your contributions to jazz.



  60. Jim Denson
    August 20, 2014

    Hi Sonny:

    I’m thrilled to hear that you plan to be back on the bandstand in 2015! I hope that NYC is one of the venues that you’re considering. I was at your 80th birthday concert at Beacon Theater, and it was magical. All the best, and continued good health. Much love to you.

  61. Christina Berry
    August 30, 2014

    Dear Mr. Rollins;

    I am an admirer of your work and saw your amazing concert in the Boston area around 2000. I am also the daughter of jazz trumpeter Emmett Berry, whom I believe you knew and possibly worked with. I see you and my father are both in the iconic “Great Day in Harlem” photo. My father retired when I was a child and never spoke about the music business after that. I learned a little about his career mainly from my mother, but I lost her in 1990, fairly early in my life.

    If you knew my father and/or played with him, would you mind sharing any memories you may have of him? It would mean a lot to me, as I have been trying to learn more about his career.

    Christina Berry

  62. Sean O. Lonergan
    August 31, 2014

    Hello Mr. Rollins,

    I read the New Yorker piece in question and was appalled, as well as very much amused, by the piece. I also saw a response video by you. I am a tenor player and, of course, a huge fan of yours. You must know that in no way can your reputation nor your place in the tradition of Jazz be in any way be even dented to the slightest degree by a humorous piece like this one. Its just art – like jazz.

    To Our King of theTtenor

    September 3, 2014

    Happy 84th Birthday.

  64. Mark Dumaine
    September 6, 2014

    Hi Sonny,
    I wanted to express my appreciation for all your musical contributions to the world, and to me.
    I started playing the tenor saxophone when I was 11 (I’m now 18) for school band. I chose the saxophone because I had previously heard your music. It inspired me, touched my soul, made me see music and myself as a musician in a completely new light. I started using the saxophone as a means of escape from my home life. Without going into detail, I can say that I had a bad childhood. I was suffering through depression for many of my teen years, and practicing the sax almost all he time was my way to help cope with my situation. I remember trying to learn many of your solos the first couple of weeks I got the instrument and not even coming close to what I’d thought I’d start off like. Now I’m a very accomplished jazz saxophonist, but even in the beginning stages it brought me to another world, a world that I enjoyed and loved much more then the one I was in before.
    Present day, I’ve since gotten through and dealt with my depression, and I owe a lot of that to you. Directly or indirectly, you saved my life.
    Today I started watching some Q&A sessions you were having with people, and it literally put me to tears. I obviously don’t know you personally (and it’s always been my dream to see you play live), but you seem just as amazing a person as you are a musician. The things you’ve had to say and the advice you’ve given to people over the years that I’ve listened to have helped me immensely, both as a musician and on a personal level.
    So thank you. Thank you so much for everything you’ve done. I feel like I owe you so much, even though we’ve never spoken directly. But your music, passion, and words have spoken to me, and it has spoken to countless others around the world. I can’t express my appreciation enough.

    Mark Dumaine

  65. Bryan Ehlinger
    September 6, 2014

    Dear Mr. Rollins,

    Music is sharing and my life is music. I am not a musician, I am a collector who puts music in historical context.

    I am a Nursing Home Administrator who turned 52 on the 3rd. Realizing that life is fleeting, I make it a Point to communicate my appreciation of others in the here and now.

    While reflecting on my own Birthday, I recalled that yours was on the 7th. I wish you the warmest birthday wishes as you turn a spry young 84. Age is a state of mind as, I sit listening to your music I know that you are immortal You have not aged or grown stagnant. You continue to evolve. You leave so much in your music for us all to embrace and enjoy.

    I have amassed a collection of cd’s that exceeds 9,000 titles. Most people watch TV. I just listen to music. The music I listen to varies daily and cycle through many genres. My deepest love is jazz.

    This past spring as I was perusing my collection (I liken it to standing in front of the refrigerator when you don’t know what you are hungry for) and choose “The Bridge.” It reawakened my love for your playing. It is now September and your albums have been in my rotation every day. I so appreciate the legacy of music that you have and continue to share.

    From the bottom of my heart, I want to wish you a Happy 84th Birthday and thank you for sharing your music and your magic with the world.



  66. federico benedetti
    September 6, 2014

    happy birthday Sonny, and thank you for your great swingin’ music

  67. Salvatore Gallina
    September 7, 2014

    A very big hug from Gallina family!
    Happy birthday Sonny!
    Salvatore, Flavia, Lucia and Pietro

  68. Verena & Werner Zurich Switzerland
    September 7, 2014

    Dear Sonny Rollins!
    Please accept our heartfelt wishes on your 84th Birthday!
    Thank you so much for all your wonderful music – live and on vinyl – which will be with us forever! We have attended some 24 concerts of you round the world: at last I’ve been on your 80th Birthday concert at the Beacon Theatre which I certainly never forget! Wow!
    We love you, Sonny, take care, God bless you!
    Verena & Werner
    PS We are trying to mail you a picture of us: you then might remember us…

  69. Scott Merrell
    September 7, 2014

    Dear Mr. Rollins,

    Thank you for all the beauty and love you have brought into this world.

    I wish you a very Happy Birthday, and many, many more to come.

    Scott, NYC

  70. Jeffrey Newton, Tenor Saxophonist
    September 7, 2014

    Sonny, Happiest of 84th Birthdays! I was having a bad day Sunday until I went out to busk and play my Mark VI tenor outside for the people. I soon found myself in the meditative state you speak of, and all was well with the world once again. I was playing along with a pop tune and “St. Thomas” popped out! I guess I was thinking of you.

    You’ve been such an inspiration to me over my entire saxophone career, and I was privileged to speak with you after your concert in Detroit in 2010, on my 52nd birthday!

    Much love and appreciation, and continued saxophone magic down the road.

    Best always,

    – Jeff Newton ( from DETROIT)

  71. Ted Khmylko
    September 7, 2014

    Dear Mr. Rollins!
    Happy Birthday!
    Now I and my teacher who became a jazzmen due to your “I’ve Found a New Baby” are sitting and listening your brilliant solo (8 minutes) from “Roadshows Vol.3” – again and again.
    Best wishes from Russia!

  72. Noah & Mike Garfield, Catherine Marquardt
    September 7, 2014

    Happy Birthday Sonny from your (probably no longer) youngest fan! Noah just turned 7, and we are still great fans! We hope to hear you in concert again one day soon. We still enjoy listening to all of your recordings, but hearing you play live is such a joy!
    Best wishes,
    Noah Mike & Catherine

  73. lew lewis
    September 7, 2014


  74. Vic
    September 7, 2014

    Happy Birthday Sonny!
    Despite what was said in the New Yorker article,the death of JAZZ has been predicted for many years,by many people,but just like you,it keeps moving on.
    Enjoy the day and listen to some music.

  75. Nick & Kent
    September 7, 2014

    Happy 84th Birthday Sonny Rollins! May you have many more. Anxious to see you perform in the Midwest soon! Big Chicago Fans, Nick & Kent

  76. Robin Lloyd
    September 7, 2014

    Thank you for your music.
    Thank you for your wisdom.
    Thank you for your spirit.
    Know that you are respected and loved throughout the world.
    Happy Birthday!


  77. Jason Oleksiewicz
    September 7, 2014

    Master Rollins,

    ! Happy Birthday !

    please perform in/nearby Portland, Oregon


    * thank you* for your musical stylings + i have really in-joyed your visits to Mr. Tavis Smileys


  78. Tom F
    September 7, 2014

    Happy birthday Sonny. May you have many more.

  79. Stacy Valis
    September 7, 2014

    Dear Mr. Rollins,

    I can’t find any words adequate enough to articulate how much your music means to me. It takes me to a place beyond words, beyond time, a place of pure joy and feeling. You are a treasure, and I am forever grateful to you for the gifts you have bestowed upon us for all these years. Wishing you a happy birthday, and may all your days be full of happiness and good health.

    Most sincerely yours,

    Stacy Valis

  80. Terri
    September 8, 2014

    Happiest of happy birthdays, Mr. Rollins; thank you.

  81. Ron Holloway
    September 8, 2014

    ~ HAPPY (84th) BIRTHDAY, SONNY!!!

    Your singular tone, keen sense of organic structure, ambidextrous timing, humorous quotes, supreme swagger, infectious personality, very personal note choice, note displacement, keen sense of drama, staccato punctuations followed by virtuosic runs, worrying a single note, ability to utilize various tonal textures within a single solo, unique use of smeared notes….All of these achievements and more, mark you as a major innovator on your beloved tenor saxophone, since the 1950’s!

    You have captured the imagination of several generations of saxophonists, musicians of various genres and avid music fans, all over the world! Continue to thrive for many, many years, Sonny and know that we, your devout fans, look forward to your return to the world stage, like kids who can hardly get to sleep, on the night before Christmas!!

    Thank you for being the BEST ROLE MODEL a young saxophonist could ever hope to have!

    Love You Madly,

    ~Ron Holloway

  82. Dennis and Rosemarie Whaley
    September 8, 2014

    Hi Sonny, Happy Birthday and many more fruitful years! We remember your kindnesses to us over the years. We met in 1960; You received us in many places during the times we were able to attend your concerts and “gigs”. I did ring the bell on Delancey! You and Lucille treated me with kindness. She was and is a gem. Thanks you again for your excellence. Stay well,

  83. Rufus Johnson
    September 9, 2014

    Mr. Rollins,

    Happy Birthday and thanks so much for the music.

    Rufus Johnson

  84. Sivakumar
    September 12, 2014

    Dear Mr. Rollins,

    A belated Happy Birthday from Chennai, South India. I cannot begin to express what your music, like that of J.S.Bach and Indian classical music means to me, so a simple thank you will have to suffice. One of my biggest regrets in life is not being able to attend your September 2010 concert at the Beacon theatre though I was visiting friends in NYC that week . I am planning my next visit to the US based almost entirely on your concert schedule and hope to catch you in a concert soon. Here’s to many, many more birthdays .

  85. Scott McWade
    September 15, 2014

    I enjoy all types of music, all day long and have been toying with an acoustic guitar for a couple of years now, but listening to jazz is an obsession, and lately, your recordings have been high on my daily hit parade. They are a true respite in a world struggling. Thank you for staying true to your muse and taking the time off that you did because it seems to have rejuvenated you a rewarded us all. I live in New Jersey, not far from the Van Gelder studios where so many jazz documents were produced. I hope to be lucky enough to attend one of your performances, someday. God Bless.

  86. Mike
    September 22, 2014

    Happy Birthday, Sonny! My Daddy started me listening to your music before I could even crawl up high enough to scratch up all of his records. Daddy was born in ’32 and he was a big fan of yours. He didn’t quite make it this long with us. He died in 2009, but he sure loved the way you play the Sax. When I hear your music I think of my Daddy. Good luck to you, Mr. Rollins.

  87. Kathryn
    September 22, 2014

    Dear Mr. Rollins,
    What makes good music? People have been trying to answer this since the beginning of the first beat. However, I believe you have found the key. Passion is what brings music alive. In your music the passion you play with makes the music change from a song to a story. The music speaks to you and reveals a little more of the tale with each note you play. Brilliance is not sufficient enough in describing your music or your ideologies on philosophy. Not only are you a master of music, you also offer the world some thought and explanation of life.
    I am a fan of not only your music, but your philosophy as well. However I would never had heard about you if it wasn’t for my friend Alex. He has been playing the saxophone for six years now. He absolutely thinks you are a musical genius and spends his free time looking up your ideas on philosophy or attempting to play with the same passion that you play with. Alex is a special soul. He values the little things and enjoys simplicity.Which is very rare to find in a teenage boy. I was hoping you would be making a trip down to Florida to preform a concert. However, I cannot find any events listed. So I thought I would ask you if you had a performance schedule. I was hoping to try to get tickets to see one of your shows. The thing with Alex is he is very humble and would be just as appreciative if I took him to see a local Jazz band, that just the type of guy he is. But I know he would be awestruck if we went to see you, his favorite saxophone player. Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to read this email.
    Your music is greatly appreciated,

  88. Joost Reedijk
    September 23, 2014

    Hi Sonny,

    I hope, while you are becoming quite of age now, you are doing alright. You’re sound (live & CD) was the reason I started to play the saxophone. Words can’t express my gratitude for that gift. So I’ll leave you to the rest of what I hope will be a good life for you. Thanks again.

    Best regards,

    Joost Reedijk

  89. Jake
    October 6, 2014

    Hi Sonny,

    Thank you for the great music. I am a pianist and often play ‘Oleo’ on my Fender Rhodes.

    A while back I wrote a fast bebop composition entitled ‘Exactitude’ and would love for you to check out the sheet music at:

    Please let me know what you think if you get a chance to blow through it.

    Best wishes,

    Kent, England

  90. steven paul lansky
    October 14, 2014

    hi sonny,

    this summer in ontario i wrote a poem for you:

    Something about Sonny Rollins defending jazz
    And talking on the phone with an old poet friend
    Today while an eagle sits in the pine tree
    Thirty feet from me in my white Adirondack chair
    On the deck above the stony shore of the North Channel
    Of Lake Huron. First I saw an eagle cross the lake
    Flying away. Then one flew towards me, crying out
    As another flew behind. The first went south down
    The blue shore, while this one landed just above
    Me. I’ve been this close to these birds before.

    “At a very young age I was exposed to jazz,” Sonny says.
    And I have been frequenting this lakeshore cottage
    Since before it was a structure, when it was an idea,
    At the foot of a trail hacked by machete, a family
    Dreamed of a summer escape, and then a plan, a builder
    The birch, spruce, poplar, cedar, and pine made
    Home for porcupines, prickly, raccoons, masked, and
    Jays, woodpeckers, crows, gulls. Over the past ten years
    Eagles have returned. Returned from before my childhood.

    This one faced me, and bent its neck beak, hooked, yellow
    To its talons, pulling at food, likely fish skin, tearing, eating
    And raising its head to cry, the mate cries back, from where
    I cannot see, but the feathers ruffle, the cry has several beats,
    And more between. My poet friend hears the cry in far
    Off Kentucky, while I imagine jazz. As I write this I hear
    Sonny Rollins, in his own words, “You’re not hurting anybody
    You’re learning.” As he talks about jazz I think of the majesty
    Of the great predator, so close, facing, calling, then preening,
    Great dark feathers. I want to say that the Canadian
    Wilderness is like American jazz. A natural music. “Don’t worry
    About [what] has no bearing on you, do what you have to do, don’t worry.”

    The bird has bearing on what? She flies away, my longing with her.

    —lansky 8.5.2014

  91. Tolik Kolesnikov
    October 17, 2014

    Sonny, please! Answer the question, if you have information. What Otto Link tenor mouthpiece used John Coltrane? Some say that it is Super Tone Master, others say Florida Super Tone Master, others say Link*5, Link*7, etc. I address it to you, because you were friends and colleagues with John, and may know exactly, what kind of. Thanks in advance and Happy 84th Birthday! Be healthy yet 100 years! You are real Saxophone Colossus! (Sorry for my “INGLISH”).

  92. John
    October 24, 2014

    Man, just one thing: what’s the secret? How do I get to that coveted state Bird talked about? Transcribing? I want the instrument as a seamless extension of my physical and creative self. I don’t want to be bound by patterns, logic, physicalities of playing or, God forbid, guesswork.

    You are easily the best living improviser. Incidentally, I’ve been listening to Debussy’s Reverie from Nucleus. Flawless playing by everyone. Music gives me more pleasure than anything else. I’ve had such mind-boggling releases of dopamine from music that I was afraid of desensitization, which eventually did set in. Plus I’m starting to run out of good music now man. School and ruts of life are consuming my time, when all I want to do is play, listen, play, play, listen, play…

    You are a true master. Btw, I’m having trouble finding some of your albums here but I’ll get my hands on them eventually… Take care man. Maybe come perform in Croatia?

  93. Tom de Groot
    October 25, 2014

    Dear Mr Rollins.
    I just saw your documentary made by Olaf van Paassen on television.
    For years you,re my musical inspirator and big example.
    This documentary is made so beautiful and respectful.
    For me I watched with deep emotions and constant goose bumps.
    Thank you for being here. I love your music, creativity, wisdom and love for what you,re doing.
    Tomorrow I will play better will always be my mantra

    Greetings and deep respect

    Tom de Groot

  94. Paul Magnotto
    October 27, 2014

    Dear Sonny, belated greetings. It was at Oberlin College in 1979 and we went outside. I invited you to my wedding where Bill Durango played. You sent me a beautiful reply . Got to see u in Detroit last summer. U were great! Please don’t forget my good friend, Arthur Blythe, who is dealing with Parkinson’s . You are the greatest living tenor in the known universe. Best wishes, good health and belated birthday greetings. May u play forever!

  95. Karl Miller
    October 29, 2014

    I just found your letter that you wrote back to me in response to my questions about mouthpieces – way back in 1978. I do not think I ever said to you ….Thank you. So there! Thank you for your time….and your art. You inspired me by what you wrote. I now play Drums, Guitar and Tenor. Just like in the Gospel….how many said thanks? I know I am not the only one. Yours truly- The Kid you met backstage at Saratoga in 78- from Montpelier Vermont. Ps- almost died of a heart attack when your letter arrived in my P.O box- Love- Karl

  96. Willa Rudnick
    November 3, 2014

    Hello Mr. Rollins,
    I’m a 6th grader who just started playing alto saxophone in August. I am in my school’s jazz band. I started to listen to more jazz because of it and I love it. I love music and would like it somehow to become my living, whether as a musician or teacher, I don’t really care which. We are doing a project on an person that was influential in the world and I would like to do a jazz saxophonist. You are one of my choices. Are there any tips you could give me on playing sax and/or with my project?
    Thanks! Also, thank you for all of the great music that you have been able to share with the world. I love it.
    Willa Rudnick

  97. Kenneth Douglas Cole
    November 4, 2014

    Dear Sonny. I was at theToronto concert at opera house 4 or 5 yrs ago with my dad .he was quite ill at the time with emphezyma. and has since passed away. But for both of us it was a musical and cultural highlight of a life time that has included especially for my dad many of the greats of jazz from many different eras. Doug started and developed jazz in Toronto and Canada ( and was awarded the order of Canada. our countries highest civilian award for his efforts) through his clubs Georges Spagetti, House Bourbon st, Basin st and the Kibbiteria featuring many of the great canadian players ie Moe Koffman Ed Bickert. Rob mcconell and his Boss Brass, Oscar Peterson. to name a few as well as such international stars as Bill Evans, Dexter Gordon, the Marsalis Family, Betty(be bop) Carter, Stan Getz and so on.As we left your concert my Dad turned to me and said I am glad I didn’t go to my grave without seeing Sonny Rollins play like that. I will die a happy man ! Thank you for that. I now live 2 hours north of Toronto in the town of Huntsville. Each summer we put on a jazz festival featuring some of the top acts available to us and each year my fathers scholarship fund sponsors one of the concerts if you where available we would love to have you perform here for us. It would mean a great deal for the reputation of our festival. If you cannot we understand and wish you the best of health. And we know you will always keep swinging.

  98. Ken
    November 5, 2014

    Dear Sonny Rollins

    I just wanted to tell you how happy I am about my son Otis, who is 8 years old. He has fallen in love with your music, especially, ‘Saxophone Colossus’, he can sing along with your every note, and it has inspired him to take up the tenor. He has been captured by your contagious spirit, just like I was 35 years ago….and it still holds strong for me. Let’s hope he is flying the flag for your music in another 35 years. Sincere best wishes, Ken and Otis, from the subtropical rainforest of Australia.

  99. Victor E. Villaseñor
    November 9, 2014

    Dear Señor Sonny Rollins: In Fall 1960, I went 6 months without speaking, trying to find my inner voice that I had Heard up in the wilds of Wyoming. I had almost given up hope of ever
    refinding that voice. But then you came into my life and those long pauses within your music gave me the understanding that it is the darkness between the stars that gives siginificance to the stars. And it’s what you don’t write that then gives brilliance to each Word that you put on a page. With your guidance, I have written 5 bestsellers and received 3 Pulitzer nominations, was made founding Chair of Steinbeck Institute and Alex Haley became my mentor. And now, after 52 years of writing, Will Smith and Sony are willing to back my book, ‘Rain of Gold’, the Latino ‘Roots’. Over the years, I have written to you a couple of times and have never received a response. You are my hero, my spirit guide and my great amigo. I invite you to come to my home and stay with me, where I live in an old hacienda, next to the beach, in North San Diego County. I loved seeing you in that White suit when you presented President Barack Obama. I met Obama 25 years ago in South Chicago, along with Mary Gonzalez and Greg (an ex Jesuit). He, too, is my hero. Crush us,
    beat us down, and with the voice of god, we will rise up out of the ashes. God bless you.
    I would like to send to your POB some of my books. They are used in high schools and universities throughout the country. Thank you gracias. – Victor E. Villaseñor

  100. Mike Talento
    November 13, 2014

    Dear Mr. Rollins,

    I cannot express the complete positive nature that your music has had on me. I am a jazz studies major at West Chester University of Pennsylvania and a tenor saxophone player. Although I am far from where I would like to be as a player, I feel that the soulfulness and emotion of your music has given me a direction and a vision of the player I would like to become. I feel I must thank you for that and for all that you have done for the players of my generation, and for all your wonderful music. St. Thomas always brings me through those dark days to a better place.

    Hope you are doing well and god bless.

    -Mike Talento

  101. Robert Nislick
    November 15, 2014

    Dear Sonny,

    Without your songs, the day would never end!

    Thank you for the happiness I feel when I listen to your music.

    Your show at Symphony Hall in Boston a few years back was great.

    Wishing you Sunny Days and Starry Nights.



  102. ray johnson
    November 17, 2014

    Mr. Rollins… first, any word on when you will be touring again. 2nd , I was at your interview at the New Orleans Jazz fest in 2011, but was unable to ask you a question about my favorite guitar player, may he rest in peace, Jim Hall. I once read where you said if you were playing with Jim Hall you did not need a piano player. Please explain the statement.
    Also….. we miss you here in Houston….PLEASE RETURN!!!! ( or Austin)
    Wishing you peace and good health….
    Spring, Texas

  103. Ivo Perelman
    November 27, 2014

    Dear Sonny,
    It was a great honor to get such positive comments on my music from you on your latest Down Beat Blindfold test. Thank you! Ive loved your music for the past 35 years!
    I wish you the very best,
    Ivo Perelman

  104. Brendan E.
    December 4, 2014

    Mr. Rollins,

    I have deeply enjoyed your music for several years and am a jazz player myself. I play guitar in a couple of jazz groups locally, but only on occasion and with friends; Your music has inspired me to become an instrumentalist in your mold. I had the opportunity to see you play in St. Louis 2 years ago, but sadly you were ill at the time and the date was cancelled. I wish you all the best and hope you can find your way to St. Louis sometime.

    Best wishes and deepest admiration,
    Brendan E.

  105. Chris Irvin
    December 11, 2014

    Dear Mr. Rollins,

    First and foremost, I would like to say that you sir have been, and still are an immense inspiration. I am a 24 year old piano player from Atlanta, GA. I was first introduced to your music in my high school jazz band. Playing your compositions was always such a thrill for us! It is now my privilege and honor to study jazz, while looking forward to advancing the art form. Your vitality has given me hope that forward progress is still very much so attainable! I pray your continued strength, focus, happiness and success. THANK YOU FOR BEING A PILLAR OF GREAT MUSICALITY!!

    God Bless,
    Chris I.

  106. Brian Madden
    December 15, 2014

    Hello, Sonny

    Here it is 3 months and 7 days after your 84th year of acknowledgment as a member of the world. I tried to phone you, September 7th, but you’ve changed, the number of your phone was gone…

    So as the great philosopher, Tenner Gladness, once said: “Better late than tomorrow.”

    I remember Monday night, July 19, 1954, when I, as a teenager, first saw you in-person, with Horace Silver at Birdland. It was shock and awe.

    How shocking it was that a Coke cost a dollar. The awe came with the music, especially your tenor.

    Within weeks, I was doing odd jobs to pay for my first tenor, a King Super 20, now replaced by a Selmer Mark 7.

    More than 60 years since then, I’ve been privileged to have met and heard you so many times, capped by the honor of emceeing your concert at Opus 40.

    I wanted to play the Birthday Song for you, this time, but I was not aware of the video clips, so I know you can use your imagination, it makes a cloudy day sunny, Sonny.

    ‘Til then, let’s wait again, ’til then, Please, Sonny.

    Big Ciao!

  107. Celeste
    December 27, 2014

    Hello Sonny:

    I thank you for your music. I just yesterday read some album notes from “Saxophone Colossus and More” and they blew me away. It describes your musical devices such as “the elastic treatment of time, heard in the held and subtly lengthened and contracted tones” and also “the permutation of phrase fragments, yielding new combinations which are then explored.” How eloquently described, but so much more enriching to HEAR when one listens to your songs. Keep it up. You inspire young musicians. You nurture your listeners with your sound. Your artistic voice and spirit is unbound.

    A true fan, Celeste Smither

  108. Slight Paunch
    January 18, 2015

    On 01/17/15 at 9:57 pm it’s freezing in the Detroit suburbs. There’s sloppy black snow everywhere and nothing on TV except advertisements for the annual Big 3 Auto Show. I can’t stand smiling salesmen so I go downstairs, into the man-cave, to listen to records.

    I have so many that I don’t even know what I have. I get lost in them. It clears the mind. Sometimes I come across a long forgotten record, a pleasant surprise from the past. Tonight it’s mono copy of the Alfie soundtrack with my favorite sax player Sonny Rollins. How did I forget about that one???

    Let me tell you, the record is heavy, like bowling ball heavy. Thick too. Did they melt bowling balls to press these things back in the 60’s? Seriously, you could throw that record Chinese star style and take off three Ninja heads.

    The music is wonderful too, a great listen. The mono is “in your face” and “right up front”. It made me find this website and start writing…

    Thanks Sonny, you are well loved.


    Slight Paunch (washed up drummer)

    P.S. I found another pleasant surprise…Kenny Burrell, “Ellington Is Forever”, a double album. Nice listen too. Music is the best.

  109. Beccs
    January 24, 2015

    Hey Sonny

    I’m one of the few female players out there! Been playing almost 3 years, been at it like a demon, and discovered a real passion for jazz. Listen to you a lot and play your tunes at home, at jams and now got my first jazz gig at the end of next month :)

    You play from the heart, your playing has helped me a lot.
    Thanks and best wishes to you

  110. Juan Gonzalez Bertomeu
    February 3, 2015

    Dear Sonny,

    We just cannot thank you enough for your music. I have enjoyed it for many years now and I imagine will always keep doing so. Right now, as I write, I listen to your Freedom Suite. Your sound is so unique.

    With deep admiration,


  111. phil
    February 6, 2015

    Hey Sonny,

    LOVE your music! Hope to see you around the Hudson Valley sometime.

  112. Richard C
    February 10, 2015

    Hello, Mr. Sonny Rollins,

    In school we are learning about jazz, and I chose to do a project on you. I’ve heard of some of your songs like “St. Thomas”, “On the Sunny Side of the Street”. Though the fellow pupils in my class have not, so I was wondering if you could respond back to this with a quote about how jazz can ppdifferent every time someone plays it. I’ve heard about your 9/11 story, and I’m glad you took the saxophone in your hand. Please write back!

  113. Rainer
    February 21, 2015

    Hello Mr. Rollins,

    I saw you in France/Juan-le-Pins 2005 and I’m great fan of your music. I’m very happy that with RoadshowsIII you have made possible to hear live performances of this time on CD. I hope it will be possible that sometimes you bring a Collection of maybe Juan-le_Pins-Performances on CD. I hope also very much that I can hear you again in Europe sometime.

    Best wishes
    Rainer, Brühl/Germany

  114. Tiffany Rollins
    February 22, 2015

    Hello my question is a strange one. I am inquiring to find out if Sonny had a brother by the name of Thomas Rollins. Not sure if there is any connection or not, but as myths goes it’s been passed down to me that Thomas Rollins ( My grandfather ) was Sonny’s uncle. Any chance Sonny can confirm or deny this long held question? Thomas Rollins had a son named Philip Rollins and Philip is my biological father. Just curious let me know and thank you in advance.
    Tiffany Rollins

  115. Mark W
    March 8, 2015

    Hi Sonny

    As a music lover and audiophile, after 35 plus years of listening to rock I am now trying to build a collection of classic jazz. Absolutely in love with Saxaphone Colusses and looking forward to adding more of your recordings to my collection. Wishing you good health and happiness.

  116. Francesco Brancato
    March 13, 2015

    Dear Mr. Rollins,
    my name is Francesco Brancato. I’m 23 years old and I’m studying at the Turin’s Conservatory of Music in the Jazz department directed by Furio Di Castri and my teacher is Enzo Zirilli. During these years I also had the pleasure to meet Emanuele Cisi and Dado Moroni, great Masters and Men. With them I established a good and precious relationship.

    I’m writing to you because I’m going to graduate in a few months and I would like to go deep in the meaning of Jazz: I would like to talk about analogies I found between dynamic-meditation practices as Tai Ji Quan – that I practiced in last 4 years, as Woody Shaw did – and music, especially talking about the intensity of your rhythmic approach to the music and your musical ideas I listened in your records. I will talk about Jimmy Cobb, my favorite drummer, Tony Williams, Roy Haynes and Elvin Jones. My intent is to underline how jazz music can be a “collective meditation practice” when musicians link their personalities to create a special atmosphere for a tune, an album or a concert. I think you are one of the most representative musician about this topic.

    I hope you agree and like my way of thinking and my words: I could not have a greatest joy and I would be forever honored.

    Can I ask you only three questions?
    – Talking about the intensity of your playing, what is (or which are) the way(s) to get in concentration for you?
    – Have you ever considered music as a meditation practice?
    – “One deep breath” – the first step to practice meditation – can be really important to let an horn player to play his phrase and also for rhythmic section to let them take the time and link themselves. How important is “one deep breath” for you?

    Thank You Mr. Rollins for the wonderful music and energy you gave to the whole Humanity, Culture and Music.
    God Bless you.

    Francesco Brancato.

  117. Angelo Velasquez
    March 17, 2015

    Dear Mr Rollins
    I am a 16 year old drummer who aspires to be a working touring jazz drummer. It was your music that started me in the path of jazz. After hearing Oleo in 7th grade I knew that’s what I wanted to do. You and saxophone always puts in a good mood. Because of you I I love staying after school and swinging to jazz with my friends. Even though I’m a drummer, you and your saxophone playing have been my greatest musical influence. Because of the love of jazz you put in me I am now the Southern California Jazz honor band drummer. I hope one of these days I can see you in concert.
    Angelo Velasquez

    PS. If you happen to be in the Ventura county area please stop by Newbury Park High School. :-)

  118. Michael Oselskyi
    March 18, 2015

    I must admit, I have just recently got into the wonderful music that is jazz. I am a junior in high school and I play lead trumpet in our jazz band.

    I have been in this band for almost 4 years as lead horn, but I never truly felt the feel of jazz and its rich history (call me a square!). Anyway, this year was the year I truly got into the music and its been an amazing experience.

    Sonny, your contribution to the jazz world is astonishing and it is a great honor to be able to even have the option of contacting a jazz legend! My only wish is to be able to exchange just even a few words with you or a few messages.

    Thank you for being a part of my jazz experience and enhancing the jazz world. Hope to be able to talk to you at least once.

    – Michael Oselskyi

  119. sam goldenberg
    March 26, 2015

    Hi Sonny,
    Back in 1976, you performed a benefit concert for special education at Yale University’s Sprague Hall. It was a great concert! One of my students, Bruce Gillespie, had Down Syndrome and did a drawing of you that we used in our program and for our poster. It was a great drawing.
    Over time, our organization Creative Concerts put on other concerts featuring performers such as McCoy Tyner, Dexter Gordon, Max Roach, Teddy Wilson, Gary Burton, etc. And for each concert, Bruce did a drawing.
    Just recently, Bruce has been recognized for his artwork. He has an art exhibit at the New Haven Arts Council’s gallery called “Jazz Riffs,” and it has all the posters that Bruce drew for us.
    The New Haven newspaper did an extended feature on Bruce. The opening photo for the article has Bruce standing next to the drawing of you.
    I wonder if you still remember our concert organization and the drawing. In any event, I would love to send you the link to the New Haven Register’s feature on it. Or I could send you the article. I’m sure you’d enjoy it.
    If you want me to email this to you or send it to you by regular mail, just tell me how I should do this and I would be happy to do this for you.
    We have never forgotten your generosity in performing for us!
    looking forward,
    sam goldenberg

  120. Jacob Dare Smith
    March 27, 2015

    Some people have told me my horn playing sounds like sonny rollins. Theres no way I cohld compare to the greats. It bums me out because I want to sound like myself, but it’s so hard to break the mold when the clay was already formed so immaculately. Of course im born into a time period in which everything great has really already been done and said. One day i hope to really sound like me. Thanks for the inspiration and I will always think of without a song when im feeling down and out of luck.

  121. Francesco Brancato
    March 27, 2015

    Dear Mr. Rollins,
    my name is Francesco Brancato. I’m 23 years old and I’m studying at the Turin’s Conservatory of Music in the Jazz department directed by Furio Di Castri and my teacher is Enzo Zirilli. During these years I also had the pleasure to meet Emanuele Cisi and Dado Moroni, great Masters and Men. With them I established a good and precious relationship.
    I’m writing to you because I’m going to graduate in a few months and I would like to go deep in the meaning of Jazz: I would like to talk about analogies I found between dynamic-meditation practices as Tai Ji Quan – that I practiced in last 4 years, as Woody Shaw did – and music, especially talking about the intensity of your rhythmic approach to the music and your musical ideas I listened in your records. My intent is to underline how jazz music can be a “collective meditation practice” when musicians link their personalities to create a special atmosphere for a tune, an album or a concert. I think you are one of the most representative musician about this topic.

    I hope you agree and like my way of thinking and my words: I could not have a greatest joy and I would be forever honored.

    Can I ask you only three questions?
    – Talking about the intensity of your playing, what is (or which are) the way(s) to get in concentration for you?
    – Have you ever considered music as a meditation practice?
    – “One deep breath” – the first step to practice meditation – can be really important to let an horn player to play his phrase and also for rhythmic section to let them take the time and link themselves. How important is “one deep breath” for you?

    Thank You Mr. Rollins for the wonderful music and energy you gave to the whole Humanity, Culture and Music.
    God Bless you.

    Francesco Brancato.

  122. Joel Matta-Nieves
    April 2, 2015

    Dear Mr. Rollins.

    I am a young aspiring musician from Florida and you are one of my biggest role models, i’m
    only 17 and i enjoy listening to all of you music. i want to study to play sax and travel around
    the world to bring joy to people through music. i own all you vinyl, I would go to the local record shop just to check if they had any almost twice a week. my high school jazz band is struggling to keep the music going because people are losing fate so i have shown them all different jazz legends for there respective instruments to get them excited about jazz but in the end very few really show passion for the lifestyle. I enjoy listening to all of your music but my motivation song is “He’s younger then you are” from the album Alfie. i have a small little combo over here in Orlando and we are constantly practicing and playing in little coffee shops to bring smiles around the city. if you have anything that can help us it would be greatly appreciated by all 4 of us we are very eager to learn and take in any knowledge of the great legends such as yourself. and also we where wondering if you could send the score to “He’s younger then you are”, it would be an honor to practice such an amazing piece of music from you; we would purchase the score but we have all been saving up for a double bass for are bassist.

    Thank you for your time Mr. Rollins,
    Joel MN.

  123. junghyeun b
    April 5, 2015

    Hi Sonny!
    I had no where to go tonight, and Im listening to Saxophone Colossus for the first time. I looove jazz but I didnt know about you until now. I was thinking of listening to Coltranes , which is one of my favorite songs, then I was thinking of going to Smalls tomorrow at late night by myself, so I was looking at gigs schedule, and then I saw your name on the profile of the sax player who will be playing there tomorrow, because his profile said that you were one of his huge inspirations. So you are the Sonny!!! Hahahaha!!! I know its a shame that I didnt know you who is a jazz legend, when I say Im a huge jazz lover all the times. But I wanted to let you know Im so happy to discover your music! Sometimes dead people are more famous than alive legends, you know.
    Im so excited to listen to your music all night long !!!!
    Hope you are playing in New york city soon!
    Thank you for your music Sonny!

    Your new fan,
    Junghyeun 😀

  124. Ben Pinnola
    April 20, 2015

    Dear Sonny Rollins,

    You inspire me to make music. And for that, I love you man. You make the world more beautiful with your saxophone. I am a saxophone player too, and I just wanted to reach out to you to let you know how important you are to me. Thank you.

    Ben Pinnola

  125. Marshall Zucker
    April 24, 2015

    Hello Mr. Rollins-
    It has been a few years since I had the pleasure of speaking to you.. I am the Principal of the School in Long Island whose students sent you letters and cards of congratulations when you received the Kennedy Center Honor. I wish you the best of everything.


  126. Carol Mellis
    April 25, 2015

    Dear Sonny,

    It has been my great pleasure to study your music this year in jazz improvisation class at Arizona State University. I am a Masters classical flute performance major but I have enrolled in as many jazz classes and performing jazz ensembles as possible while at ASU.

    You are also one of the musicians who will be featured in a paper I am presenting titled “Music Performance for a Lifetime”. My focus for this project is to try to discover and reveal how particular musicians have sustained their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health over a lifetime of musical performance.

    I have come back to college to get my Masters at age 53. I know that is unusual, especially in the study of collegiate music, but there is so much more I want to learn, particularly related to jazz performance. I believe people can make significant, and sometimes their best, contributions to music and humanity after age 50. You are an inspiring example for all hoping to continue making music for their entire lifetime.

    If possible, I would love to receive a personal response from you that I could include in my paper/presentation. My two questions are: To what do you attribute your ability to have a life-long career in music performance? What advice, regarding longevity, would you offer to college music students hoping to have a long music performance career?

    Thank you for your consideration of my request,

    Carol Mellis

  127. Daniel M. Strodel
    April 25, 2015

    Dear Mr. Rollins,

    I have recently spent some time Emilio Lyons and am working on a paper about him and his life. He speaks so kindly about you and has shared many endearing stories. I was wondering if you had any ‘Emilio’ memories you would like to share? As a saxophonist myself your music has been inspirational and it would very meaningful if I could include your thoughts on the ‘Sax Doctor’.

    Best regards,
    Daniel S.

  128. Charles Payne
    April 27, 2015

    Dear Mr. Rollins,

    I admire your work and your long, productive life. You set a standard few can match. I am a seventy year old retired artist (retired from just about everything but art) I am making a video about an 80 year old artist from Baltimore named Raoul Middleman. He has been a lifelong fan of yours.

    Unlike yourself, who is famous the world over, Raoul is known mostly in Maryland. Like yourself, he has given himself unsparingly to his art. His output has been immense., and he deserves to me more widely noticed. I was hoping to use some of your music in the soundtrack of this youtube video, but I am on social security and cannot afford the licensing fees. This project is done out of love – not profit. Is there any way I can use some of your music without paying the licensing fees?

    Yours sincerely, Charles

  129. Will
    April 28, 2015

    I saw you live in Albuquerque,NM a while back-I’ll never forget that show. Global warming is in my automobile’s compact disk player. Always a good spin! Remember that one thing :) ..that one thing.
    Take care!

  130. Cathy Cambron
    May 1, 2015

    Mr. Rollins,

    I’ve appreciated your music for many years. Once when I lived in San Francisco, you were playing Skylark on my record player while my windows were open — and after the song was over, a mockingbird outside my window sang your solo again and again. I wonder how much of the music you’ve made has gone wild and where it has traveled? Thank you for sharing your gift.

    All best wishes,
    Cathy Cambron

  131. alessandro bolognesi
    May 1, 2015

    Hi Sonny,

    Your solos are the best thing in music to me.


  132. Maya C.
    May 19, 2015

    Hello Mr. Rollins,

    I just heard your recording of “Mangos” from your 1957 The Sound of Sonny album down here in DC on wpfw 89.3. I loved it. I enjoyed your rhythm and sound. I’ll never forget how Faith Ringgold said that you inspired her to get serious about her art. I made a series of water color paintings called “Jazz Licks” that were inspired by your solo : )

    All the Best and Many Blessings,

    Maya Cunningham

  133. Michael M.
    May 20, 2015

    Dear Sonny,
    I would like to say thank you. Thank you for all your music, your amazing playing, your friendships with band members creating intense music. Thank you for making everyone in the world feel happy and excited about your music on so many different recording dates. Thank you for being a big part of my life. When I first heard you solo the first 8 bars on Saint Thomas, everything just clicked into place. By listening to you, you have helped me to become a better musician. You helped to expand and fill my sound and improvisation with so much passion and soul. You have helped me to become a better person and musician. I have analyzed a bunch of works on Saxophone Colossus, Tenor Madness, Sonny Rollins and the Contemporary Leaders, Way West, Sonny Rollins and the Big Brass, and etc. Overall just thank you being a big part in not just mine but in everyone’s life. You have truly made a unique and amazing contribution to the Jazz Age overall. Just a quick question what kind of specific name was the mouthpiece you used on Way Out West, the shiny gold one? Finally I hope that maybe this year I would get an opportunity to see you live maybe this year in 2015-15 for a Road Shows Vol.4 sometime in NJ, and maybe if I’m lucky like you were when you played with your idol Coleman Hawkins I can get the opportunity to play with you some day. Overall thank you for being a major contribution to jazz and for all the people around the world.
    Yours Truly,

  134. Sabastian Marichalar
    June 24, 2015

    Dear Mr. Rollins,

    I can’t express words how much you’ve inspired me. You, along with people such as Dizzy Gillespie, and Duke Ellington, continue to motivate me to become a better musician. I’ve submerged myself into Jazz, as if it were a culture itself. Literally, 24/7, continuous Jazz. Whether it’s listening to great players such as yourself, reading books and autobiographies, or watching television such as “Ken Burns: Jazz,” or other documentaries. I’m currently in High School, and am studying Saxophone relentlessly.

    As I’m sure you know, one of the greats, Ornette Coleman recently passed away. I wonder to myself, “why some people are complete bigots?” Most people who I’ve known, even who are studying Jazz, have never heard of Ornette. It’s a great shame that everyone has heard of Beyonce, but very few have heard the genius Ornette Coleman. To me it’s very disturbing. Don’t they realize that their music is cheap? That their music is contributing to the death of the arts, like Jazz? I’m not saying Jazz is dying (thanks to all of the Band Directors, and people like Wynton Marsalis), I’m saying Jazz should be more popular in our culture. Jazz is an American music, it couldn’t have been made anywhere else. Why shouldn’t we teach it in school? Jazz very much should be taught in U.S History.

    Without music I would be lost. I couldn’t imagine myself without Jazz. At this moment, as I write this, I’m listening to the song “There Is No Greater Love,” from your album “Way Out West.” I have to say, Snoop Dog could be yelling in my face, but songs such as the one I’m listening to now, will speak to me, and move me more than anything else. Kudos, Sonny. There truly is no greater love for you, and many other inspirational and fantastic musicians.

    With Passion,

    Sabastian M.

  135. Laurent THENARD
    June 24, 2015

    Dear Mr Rollins,

    just to let you know that you have been my new tenor sax teacher for one and a half year now and I really appreciate what I’m learning thanks to you.
    By the way, you’ve taken over from Mr Getz, who was my only teacher over the past twenty years. My Grand’Ma had bequeathed me a sum of money for my 21st birthday…23 years ago. It did not take me long to decide to buy a Selmer tenor sax and start learning how to play it with the help of a Stan Getz’ record. One of the best decision I ever made in my life. Now the second best one, is likely to be your pupil.

    Best wishes from the South of France.


  136. Ross Gerberich
    June 28, 2015

    Hi Mr. Rollins,
    I would like to say thank you very much for all of the music that you have given the world. Your “Saxophone Colossus” album never gets old, and St. Thomas always gets me dancing!

    I was wondering if you still practice and listen to a lot of music, and exactly what do you listen to, or having been listening to lately? Thank you very much in advance.

    Best Wishes,
    -Ross Gerberich

  137. Zach D.
    July 13, 2015

    Mr. Rollins,

    As a huge jazz fan I would like to thank you for blessing us with your music. I am an 18 year old bassist and have been an avid jazz listener for a few years now. Your music is among my favorites. When I play jazz, rather than just focusing on the technical part of making the music, I feel the music and play what I’m feeling. I feel like jazz is in my soul, it takes me to a happy place and has blessed my life. Thanks for your contributions to such a wonderful art form.
    Best regards,
    Zach D.

  138. Pedro F.
    August 2, 2015

    Mr Rollins,

    Just wanna say thanks for everything you are doing along all these years for music. Hope we can hear you someday playing in Brazil.

    Best wishes,


  139. Cory Anderson
    August 6, 2015

    Just a note of thanks from a middle aged guy who grew up rockinrollin only to find other rockinrollin friends with wider tastes….
    Tastes that said it was cool to listen to listen to Ella and Louie, Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman and maybe some Oscar Peterson Trio tossed in…sorry if I’m Mumbling but I was listening to Thelonious Monk and reading about him, and YOUR name kept popping up.
    It turns out that you’ve been delighting my ears for years and I’ve never known more than your name and obviously missed the fact that YOU were the one blowing the cool tune on many a recording that I cherish.

    My dad is 84 and came for a visit today. I have a problem with the truck I’d love his help with diagnosing. But he’s past the days of helping me with a transmission.

    Your website lists no upcoming shows, and I suspect that you may be past the point of me seeing you lay it down live. But while a lot of the others have gone, you have a place for me to say thanks…..
    So, THANKS! for showing a rock, and eleven bar blues, lover that there is a JAZZ universe out there, with no limits!

    Thanks Again and Peace!

  140. Jörg Winge
    August 12, 2015

    Dear Sonny,

    I’m a passionate Saxophonplayer and I love your wonderful saxophonplay, this is for me greatest inspiration! Please, can you send me a mail with your effective autograph-adress?
    I will send you a letter.

    Thank you. Best wishes for you!!!
    Jörg Winge

    Jörg Winge
    Rudolf-Breitscheid-Straße 13
    D-99423 Weimar

  141. Nyal McCrea
    August 18, 2015

    I am a young trombone player in Seattle. Who want to learn how to improvise. I was wondering if you could teach me or give me pointers or give me stuff to work on for improvisation. When i practice or take a chorus at a jam session it does not come out how i want it to, and it does not sound like me, and sometimes i just want to quite. I would be real thankful if you could help me, or teach me the way you were taught.

  142. Jacob Peer
    August 24, 2015

    Hi Sonny,

    For me you are a friend who don’t know me.
    I’m from Israel, playing alto to Bari to Tenor (those days).
    I want to know if there are sheets – original – written by you, that I can get my hand on – purchase, I am practicing a lot, and dedicating a lot for music, and I need to have those treasures in my collection or maybe by heart. You have a big heavy influence on my playing and I need this music-notes. I’ve tried to transcribe some, but I feel like I need the real stuff.
    I would be so grateful to read from you,
    I hope God will give you lot more years and health to keep and influence so many people all over the globe.

    best wishes and kind regards,
    Jacob Peer
    Jerusalem, Israel

  143. Guapo Banuelos
    August 29, 2015

    Dear Sonny Rollins,

    My name is Guapo, and I’m a seventeen year old jazz drummer and student on my way to find my path in life. I developed a love for Jazz music my freshman year and I’ve kept up trying to copy the masters like Elvin and Blakey, but also making sure to let my own experiences and ideas come out as I play. I’ve gained a lot of confidence listening to the Bop and post-Bop eras of music. It’s really shaped who I’ve become in the last few years. I’ve found a lot of joy in the way you’ve played, and also how you followed your path in life, and had the confidence, or whatever it took, to leave it and take your hiatus to find your inner voice.

    I’m a huge fan, and I’d love to talk sometime. Whether it be music, or life, or just whatever wisdom you feel you can pass along to a youngster trying to make his way out here.

    Keep doing you, Sonny. And, by all means, feel free to email me with whatever you want to pass along. Hope all is well with you.

    -Guapo B.

  144. Soren Hvenegaard
    September 7, 2015

    Hello Mr Rollins,
    Wishing you a happy 85th birthday and many, many more to come.

    As the owner of eight of your records that span six decades, I can say that your music has always had so much feeling, no matter what or when it may have been, and that your music and your wisdom have had a profound influence on my own playing.
    I would love to see you in concert one day, in or around Southern British Columbia, Canada.
    I hope that we keep hearing your wonderful and unique music for many years to come.
    Best Wishes,
    Soren Hvenegaard

  145. Jeffrey S. Newton
    September 7, 2015

    Hey, Sonny!

    Happiest 85 to you! I am at the Detroit Jazz Festival this weekend, where we all wish you were now, as you’ve been so many times in the past. Back when the Festival was the “Detroit-Montreux” Jazz Festival, they used to call you “Mr. Montreux” around here.

    I’m finally taking the plunge and moving to (near) NYC. I played at the Small’s and Fat Cat jams this summer, got a lot of compliments on my playing (including from pianist Johnny O’Neill), and it was great! Since my brother lives in Saugerties, I can hang at his place for a (New York!) minute until I find digs.

    Peace, happiness, etc.!

    PS: You were my “52nd ‘birthday present’ when you played Detroit’s Orchestra Hall in 2010. Got to hang with you backstage for a bit.

    – Jeffrey S. Newton (tenor saxophonist from Detroit)

  146. Scott Mellon
    September 7, 2015

    Many good wishes on your 85th birthday. May it be filled with music and all the things you love and that sustain you.

  147. Noah Hellman
    September 8, 2015

    Hi Mr. Rollins,
    I cannot begin to say how much your music has moved me and shaped me as a person. I am 15 years old, and your music is the reason I made it through freshman year, and is why I continue to pursue saxophone and composition as a career. I hope that one day I can have the same effect that that you had on me, on someone else.
    I wish you nothing but the best.

    Noah H.

  148. Donn Davis
    September 11, 2015

    Dear Sonny,

    While a bit late, my wish that you had a great 85th. Birthday could not be more well intended. May you have many more, as there appears to be no end to your ever evolving great spirit and contributions to music in general and Jazz music in particular!!! The dedication that you have shown to your art is uplifting and inspiring; a great example for anyone wishing for the enlargement of the human spirit. Thank you for your offering to both young and aged, but especially to the young who can witness in you the achievement of excellence owing to focus and dedication. SALUTE!!!

  149. Kleber Yudi Mino Coutinho
    September 12, 2015

    Hi Mr Sonny Rollins, I’m a brazilian student of Jazz… I can’t speak very well but I will endeavor to speak to you !

    I love Jazz, And my dream is play like You someday ! I need some tips, to my live,I know that I need to be patient, But I have fear, I Sing the solos everyday,(straight no chaser, So what, autumn leaves, Half nelson, The chicken) trying to “gain” vocabulary. But I feel that something is missing !!! I train Phrases with 16 or 32 notes, I train disappear with metronome and clapping my foot as well as Thelonious Monk , or almost.

    I heard Bill Evans saying that learning is step by step according to their difficulties, then so I hope I will get to be a champion like you.

    If you can speak to me at Hangouts someday ! I will be happy.

  150. Wayne Washburn
    September 16, 2015

    Dear Sonny,

    I’ve been listening to you, Dexter, and John ever since I first picked up a sax in 1967. A day doesn’t go by that I don’t get my fix and your music is just as fresh as the day it was recorded. It inspires and uplifts my spirit every day. I recently had a chance to hear some young jazz musicians at Cliff Bells in Detroit and its great that the tradition of great jazz continues.

    Thanks for all your priceless contributions to the world.

    Wayne Washburn
    Plano, Texas

  151. Helen
    October 3, 2015

    Dear lovely SONNY ROLLINS !
    Let me call you so and the reason is that first I heard you in far,far 1962-s,when your disk ” What’s New ? ” ( Oh ! SONNY ROLLINS ! ) appeared.I was shocked.I opened something new for me,something unknown at that it was unlike the other music,music which being unlike the other,impressed me,by it sinkere kindness.And when I saw your photo,can’t forget it till nowadays.Every time, having got your next disk with great difficully,as the prices were and remain today too high(but usually it takes a lot of time before we can listen to your next disk) I immersed in your music world and imagined as if,I were together with you. Unforgettable time!
    You had everything on your way:success and disappointment,but the time proved that your are “the qiants of music”! I am glad with to every you success still many ,many years.I always wanted to know about your as much.I’m interested in both:your life and work.Will you,please help me ,if it’s possible to know more about you not only as a musitian but as a person.We can understand music though the musitians thoughts and soul even if we don’t understand the words in English.I would like to speak with you about everything. But it’s a pity it’s not possible to write everything in a letter. A letter is the only means communication with you…The only hope to meet you and to speak with you it’s your concert. But in fortunately it’s very difficult.Heardly I when nor be able arrive in Europe and USA single hope if you will arrive in Russia,we without fall a meet.Dreams… It is difficult for you to understand as it was earlier in the USSR (Soviet Union), with what difficulties to us the nextn albums of you reached. I remember those times when each new album got with the big work. Now them it is possible the find – truth bad piracy copies from China. In expensive dear shops it is possible to order and buy original disks, but they cost stand even more expensively the present true price… Now much has changed, I could see you “alive” in video, but remained as before impossibility to receive the autograph of you. I always dreamed, if not you then though musician you which works I really love and with pleasure I listen when some day will come and in my small world of the admirer you as a photo with his its autograph. But apparently it only dreams – miracles simply do not happen, and if are that only for ” the elected public. But all the same, my love tomusic you remain with me for ever. And let dreams will not come true, but I trusted, and the belief and hope die the last… .My letter means you have reached,but I hoped to receive from your autograph-for me it is a limit dreams.With music of you I have lived the most part of the life and I wanted to have a part of this life having touched again by those unforgettable years of our youth by which part and were you.Forgive me,if I am too persevering.The you for me always was and will be that light with what the man lives.The thank for that you is.Let always success and our love will be with you.
    Dear lovely SONNY ROLLINS ! I’m very sorry,but I have a request for you.Will you please send me your photo with your original autographs or just an answer on my letter.For me it would like… a present equal “the flight to the moon”! Oh,GOD!But it’s just a dream,I even can’t hope for it.There are no miracles in reality!? Having finishing my letter let me wish you everything a person can wish to his friends:a successful work and a lot of happiness in your life,and also to continue gladden your admirers with your songs.Thank the time thas has presented us such a wonderful great musician and man. I want you to be happy and always young!We love and always will be with you.
    Ever’ your Helen.
    P.S.Excuse me,please my English. E-mail:

    My address : Helen Zavadsky
    33 -149 Tuchachevsky Street
    Lida,231300 Belarus.

  152. Steve Maris
    October 3, 2015

    Hi Sonny!hoping you are well! I just wanted to Tell you how much I have enjoyed your music over the years. I first heard you on Saxophone Colossus. it blew my mind. From there I got into The Bridge, followed by your live recoding on milestone with McCoy TynerandRonCarter.You have travelled the globe and may not remember your gig’s in colourful Colorado, but I saw you twice in Boulder.You had the crowd dancing in the aisle’s….. I don’t think the kids attending had ever heard a calypso before! Keep blowing! My next disc will be road shows, likely a Christmas present to myself.Wishing you peace…

  153. Noah Campbell
    October 5, 2015

    Mr. Rollins, your music has greatly inspired me for a good amount of my time playing. The first songs I heard of yours was Strode Rode and You Don’t Know What Love Is and ever since I have been sucked into your playing. I started on alto and mainly play it, but ever since I heard you play I have strived to play tenor. I have played a school owned tenor in order to fulfill the drive I have for the instrument, but it had so may problems it is barely in working condition anymore, so I had to stop. As I understand it, you started on alto, and slowly moved to tenor after hearing Coleman Hawkins play. I love playing alto and I do not think I will be giving that up any time soon, but I feel like most of me lies in tenor, and I do not see me getting one in the near future. So I have a few questions. When was the exact moment that you truly realized tenor is for you? Was it difficult to make the full transition on to alto? Did you continue playing alto after that? Thank you.

  154. Jon Hurst
    October 14, 2015

    Hey Sonny! My name’s Jon, and I am a sophomore at a small school in the state of Georgia. I’m a fellow tenor saxophonists, having played on legendary Selmers, just like you! I can play, very well, but, there’s things I lack. For instance, when an opera player sings and has that kind of a Rolling wave in their voice, and I listen to you do that on your sax, how? I do know how to bend the notes to sound more jazzy, but as far as growling or playing jazz as a whole, I’m not too fancy. I’d like your email back to help me! I really want to play for my parents the way you play St. Thomas for example! That bop, that smooth, or that raunchy sound. I just wish one day I can be as good as you and Charlie Parker and the other greats. I want to achieve that Rollins’ sound. Here’s a list of saxes I’ve played on just so I can say yay!

    1968 Silver Selmer Mk Vi tenor
    2008 Selmer Reference 54 tenor
    1996 Yamaha YTS 62
    1980 Selmer Super Action 80 Series II

    That’s my favorites, but of course the Selmers blow the Yamaha out of the park. Again, I hope you read this and can help me become an even better player. Thank you so much Mr. Rollins.


  155. Daniel McBrearty
    October 24, 2015

    Dear Mr Rollins,

    I just want to say a heartfelt “thank you” of appreciation to you for the amazing work you have done in your life, and the stellar example that you have set us all. I wonder if you know how important and life-enriching this music that you paid such a part in creating has been to so many of us, even people that grew up in a time and place far apart from the years you and your elders and contemporaries spent creating and living jazz music.

    Thank you for the words of kindness and encouragement you have sent out via the internet in the last years, to those of us who try to emulate your achievement, the light of the music that you, your elders and contemporaries created, to those of us that try in some way to be part of the beautiful continuum of this music. Thank you for the wonderful recordings you made, even back when you weren’t much more than 20, that continue to delight and inspire us today. Thank you for the songs you wrote that we learn and play at jam sessions, over and over. Thank you for the incredible live performances that left us breathless and in wonder. Thank you for being a source of inspiration and strength, of music, for helping so many people find their own strength to overcome misfortune and hardship, to stay human in a sometimes unkind world.

    I know you can’t reply to all the many messages on here, but it makes me happy to think that you read this, that, at least, I got to say “Thank you!” to you.


  156. George
    November 8, 2015

    First of all, surviving to 85 years old tells me that you love life, and you have inner strength, or your just damn lucky.Maybe the Karma and yoga helped you. But I reckon Coleman Hawkins and Santa Claus helped you most of all.

    By the way, if you have any spare mouthpieces, you do not need, I would dearly love to try, thanks and God Bless you.

    Best Wishes George.

  157. Angelo Ciriello
    November 10, 2015

    Mr. Rollins,

    Being realistic you probably don’t read this. I hope you do though. Well, I can’t say enough as to how you influenced me. In fact you were the 1st jazz I ever listened to. Anyways, I just wanted to let you know that your legacy is being well lived. I go to a school for the arts in south Florida. Its called New World School of the Arts. Check it out we are pretty good. We go to Essentially Ellington every year. I’m only a 9th grader. Well I know it’s quite a trek for you to come down, but it would mean to world to us as if group, probably change our lives forever, if you could do a master class with us or something like that. Thank you for everything you have done to influence the art I love.

    Angelo Ciriello

    November 11, 2015

    I live in Japan.
    I also play the saxophone.
    I came to see the Japan Tour.
    Someday, I want to listen to your playing.
    We will respect the great Sony Rollins.

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