Jazz musician Sonny Rollins receives the 2010 National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama

 

Jazz musician Sonny Rollins receives the 2010 National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama at an East Room ceremony at the White House on March 2, 2011. Managed by the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Medal of Arts is the highest award given to artists and arts patrons by the United States Government. Photo by Ruth David. Courtesy of the National Endowment for the Arts

Sonny Rollins

Jazz Musician

Bio

With more than 50 years in jazz, Theodore "Sonny" Rollins' towering achievements on the tenor saxophone are many, and he continues to be one of the most exciting and fiery players in concert. Recognized as one of the most important and influential jazz musicians of the post-bebop era, Rollins has performed with Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Art Farmer, Jim Hall, Don Cherry, Billy Higgins, and Herbie Hancock, among others.

He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and was elected to the DownBeat Jazz Hall of Fame in 1973. In 1983 he was named an NEA Jazz Master.