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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    UA to present ’50s jazz star Sonny Rollins

    Sonny Rollins
    Sonny Rollins

    Two hundred student tickets have already been sold for this evening’s UApresents performance of jazz musician Sonny Rollins at Centennial Hall.

    Natalie Bohnet, executive director of UApresents, described Rollins as, “”the best in jazz”” and said a total of 1,500 tickets have been sold, with more expected to sell today.

    “”We are extremely lucky to have him for one of his few performances a year,”” Bohnet said.

    Mario Di Vetta, marketing and publicity associate for UApresents, said he expects the number of purchased student tickets to climb to at least 300 before Rollins takes the stage.

    UApresents began the attempt to book Rollins last spring, along with three or four other agencies that were competing for one of Rollins’ few performances, Di Vetta said.

    “”Everyone wanted him at once,”” Di Vetta said, “”and we were lucky to get him first. … Rollins is a jazz legend.””

    Jeff Haskell, a music professor and coordinator of jazz studies, said Rollins’ reputation in the jazz world has both students and faculty anticipating the concert.

    “”Students knew about this concert on the first day of classes,”” Haskell said. “”We are all looking forward to it.””

    Now 76, Rollins reached the height of his fame in the 1950s by interchanging swing style with bebop, Haskell said.

    “”At one point in the ’50s, Rollins was the most talked-about individual in jazz,”” Haskell said. “”He carved an individual style to establish his own niche in jazz.””

    There will not be an opening act this evening, Bohnet said, so as to give Rollins the most amount of playing time.

    The UA is no stranger to world-class jazz music, Haskell said.

    In the 1980s, the School of Music featured performances by fellow jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie, now deceased.

    The Rollins concert will be closely followed a Dec. 2 performance by jazz artist Dianne Reeves, well-known for her soundtrack to the George Clooney film “”Good Night And Good Luck,”” Di Vetta said.

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