Sonny Greenwich | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Sonny Greenwich

Sonny Greenwich, né Herbert Lawrence Greenidge, jazz guitarist (born 1 Jan 1936 in Hamilton, ON).
Greenwich, Sonny
Jazz guitarist Sonny Greenwich (photo by Mark Miller).

Sonny Greenwich, né Herbert Lawrence Greenidge, guitarist (b at Hamilton, Ont 1 Jan 1936). This most intriguing of Canada's jazzmen has divided his life between musical and spiritual pursuits, thus turning away from a potentially major career. Emulating jazz saxophonists John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins, Sonny Greenwich developed an original guitar style and created a highly personal body of music. Based in Toronto until 1968 and thereafter living in Boucherville near Montréal and then in Montréal proper, Greenwich performed only sporadically through the 1980s, reaching a wider audience through brief liaisons with other musicians (eg, US saxophonist John Handy, 1966-67) and with such recordings as The Old Man and the Child (1970), Evol-ution, Love's Reverse (1978) and Bird of Paradise (1986). He became more active during the 1990s, and over the last two decades has recorded a number of CDs, including Standard Idioms (1991-92), Hymn to the Earth (1994), Spirit in the Air (1995) and The Kenny Wheeler and Sonny Greenwich Quintet (1993-97) at the Montréal Bistro, Days Gone By (2000), Fragments of a Memory (2001) and Special Angel (2003).

Sonny Greenwich was appointed a member of the ORDER OF CANADA in 2005.

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