Sonny Cohn

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Sonny Cohn
Sonny Cohn.jpg
Background information
Birth name George T. Cohn
Born (1925-03-14)March 14, 1925
Origin Chicago, Illinois
Died November 7, 2006(2006-11-07) (aged 81)
Genres Jazz
Instruments Trumpet
Associated acts Red Saunders
Count Basie

George T. "Sonny" Cohn (March 14, 1925[1] – November 7, 2006)[2] was an American jazz trumpeter.

After working four fifteen years with Red Saunders (1945–1960), he went on to spend another 24 years in Count Basie's trumpet section (1960–1984).[2]


Cohn started playing in small groups in Chicago with King Fleming while still a teenager.[3]

Cohn joined Red Saunders' group in 1945, while Saunders was out of the Club DeLisa and working with a sextet instead of his usual mid-sized band. Fresh out of military service, he joined the Saunders group at the Capitol Lounge in Chicago; Leon Washington had recommended him. He was featured on Saunders' first recordings as a leader, for Savoy, Sultan, and (behind Big Joe Turner) on National. He was heard on the records that Saunders made for OKeh Records (1951–1953) and for Parrot and Blue Lake (1953–1954).

Sonny Cohn survived several downsizings of the Red Saunders band, as well as the closure of the Club DeLisa, but eventually accepted an offer from Count Basie, with whom he worked from 1960 through 1984. After Basie's death, Cohn returned to Chicago, where he remained active as a musician for another two decades.

Cohn died in November 2006 in his hometown of Chicago at the age of 81.[4]


With Count Basie

With James Moody