Sonny Rollins Performing Concert to Benefit Hudson River Preservation

Sonny Rollins image 0
John Abbott

Sonny Rollins

Tenor saxophone great Sonny Rollins and his band will take the stage this month to benefit the Clearwater environmental organization, a non-profit that over the course of 40 years has helped restore health and beauty back into the Hudson River. The concert will be held at the Tarrytown Music Hall on Dec. 6 at 2 p.m., and is presented by Jazz Forum Arts.

The Grammy-winning jazz saxophonist, who turned 79 in September and still keeps up an active tour schedule, is a lifelong New Yorker and has resided in an old farmhouse in Columbia County, N. Y. since 1972. The area is within sight of the Hudson River, which is the main focus of Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Inc.

Rollins is also an ardent environmentalist, releasing an album titled Global Warming (Milestone, 1998), which featured performances by Rollins with Stephen Scott, Bob Cranshaw and Idris Muhammad, among others.

Clearwater is a non-profit, member-supported corporation whose mission is to preserve and protect the Hudson River. Founded in the late 1960’s by a vision folk musician Pete Seeger and a group of community activists had about restoring the river, Clearwater has since gained national recognition for its activism regarding PCB clean-up and its leadership and involvement in the passage of the Clean Water Act.

“This cause for the health of the Hudson River and its people that Mr. Seeger has taken on is such an important one,” said Rollins’ guitarist Bobby Broom, via e-mail. “It’s something for me to think that he’s been at this since I was six years old.”

The Clearwater, built to the specifications of the Dutch sloops of the 18th and 19th centuries, travels to towns and cities along the Hudson, New York Harbor, and Long Island Sound. The 106-foot long ship currently hosts on-board environmental education programs that serve more than 15,000 students annually. The organization also educates over 200 teachers each year through SUNY New Paltz, Pace University and other institutions.

“I think that [Rollins] and Mr. Seeger are like-minded, thoughtful activists. I’m glad to see that my elders are still so vital and happy to be able to be a small part of this along with them,” said Broom.

General admission tickets range from $75 to $100 and can be purchased at Tarrytown Music Hall. A limited number of premium tickets will be available for a $500 purchase price, and include a post-performance meet and greet with Rollins. All ticket buyers will receive a one year complimentary membership to Clearwater, granted they are not currently a member.