Sax in Athens

Sonny Rollins 80th Birthday Tour comes to Athens
The Grammy Award-winning saxophonist and composer remains one of the biggest names in jazz, with a glittering career that has spanned six decades and seen him perform with Coleman Hawkins, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Max Roach, and John Coltrane.

TICKET PRICES : 70, 85, 100 €
Advance booking
Voukaresti 5, Athens , Tel : 210-3213100210-3213100

Days and hours box office (For the summer months):
Monday to Saturday 10.00 – 18.00 and Sundays closed
By credit card: 210 81 0 81 81
Bookings via Internet:

Born in New York City in 1929, he first took up the alto saxophone in high school, before switching to tenor and made his first recordings in 1948 with Babs Gonzales, Bud Powell and Fats Navarro.

Soon after he began writing his own compositions and played with groups led by Art Blakey, Tadd Dameron and Miles Davis as well as recording with Kenny Drew, Kenny Dorham and Thelonious Monk.

The mid-50s saw him join the ensemble of Max Roach and Clifford Brown, before forming his own trio in 1957 and recording sessions at the famous Village Vanguard club.

Acclaim and popularity soon followed and he recorded for a number of labels including Prestige, Riverside, Verve, Blue Note and Columbia, with major works such as Tenor Madness (1956), Saxophone Colossus (1956) and Way Out West (1957) firmly establishing him as a jazz superstar.

However, this rise to fame led to him taking the first – and most famous – sabbatical of his career as he travelled to Japan and India, studying yoga and Eastern philosophies.

He didn’t return to the music business for three years, when he returned with revolutionary album The Bridge (1962) with guitarist Jim Hall. The 60s saw him play with trumpeter Don Cherry, supply a soundtrack for the Michael Caine film Alfie (1966) and record with his idol Coleman Hawkins.

Another retreat from the music industry lasted from 1968 until 1971 when he returned with several albums for the Milestone label that incorporated the fusion jazz of the period, captured most memorably in The Cutting Edge, a live album from the 1974 Montreux Jazz Festival.

From the late 70s until the present day he has continued to play with a new lease of life, touring regularly and cementing his status as a jazz icon.

Throughout this latter phase of his career he has mostly recorded with the Milestone label (the compilation Silver City: A Celebration of 25 Years is a selection from these years) and won a Grammy in 2001 for Best Jazz Instrumental Album for This Is What I Do (2000).