Juma's Archive



Sonny Simmons

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Sonny’s rehearsal studio, 9th St., Manhattan, 1969 – 31:35
  • Sonny Simmons – English horn (alto oboe)
  • Juma – bass

Although this recording was made in Manhattan, Sonny and Juma jammed a lot in Woodstock, as well. “We used to go out in the woods in Woodstock and we’d play music like this, him and I. I’d be taking my bass and we’d go up on the mountain and we’d be in the woods just kickin’ it.”

Sonny and Juma had gone to Woodstock in the mid-1960’s to perform at an artist’s colony called “Group 212” which was bringing together every summer artists of all media to perform.

As a result, some of the first jazz concerts in Woodstock were Sonny Simmons, Sunny Murray, Earl Cross, and Juma. “There was, like, some meadows and… we took rakes and sickles and everything, and lawnmowers, and we cleared an area, and we created, really, their first outdoor concert space…. And it sort of escalated into having concerts every weekend and inviting musicians up to come to escape the drama of New York City and get a small fee, and play some music in the Woodstock area.”