Sonny Greer

Sonny Greer

Long Branch, Monmouth County, New Jersey, USA
Death 23 Mar 1982 (aged 86)
Manhattan, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Burial Bronx, Bronx County, New York, USA
Memorial ID 160908615 · View Source
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Jazz Musician. He was an American Jazz drummer and vocalist who was best known for his work with the legendary Duke Ellington Orchestra. He was Ellington's first drummer whom he met in 1919. He was a very elegant and showmanly drummer, who sat slightly above and behind the rest of the band, adding color and class to the rhythm section. He played with the band for 30 years. In March,1950 he left the Ellington band to play in a band led by Ellington's star alto saxophonist, Johnny Hodges. After six months he left Hodges and played mainly as a freelance drummer, as well as appearing in films, and briefly leading his own trio. He was part of a tribute to Ellington in 1974, the tribute achieved great success throughout the United Stales. He can be heard on such songs as: Mood Indigo, The Mooche, Caravan, Black and Tan Fantacy, Sugar Rum Cherry, and many more. He died in New York City of cancer.


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  • Created by: Babe
  • Added: 11 Apr 2016
  • Find a Grave Memorial 160908615
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Sonny Greer (13 Dec 1895–23 Mar 1982), Find a Grave Memorial no. 160908615, citing Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, Bronx County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Babe (contributor 46785600) .