Oberlin Sonny Rollins Jazz Ensemble in NYC: 2023

Nine-member jazz ensemble performing in Dizzy's Club with NYC skyline behind them
The inaugural Oberlin Sonny Rollins Jazz Ensemble performing at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola in January 2019.
Photo credit: Fadi Kheir

The Oberlin Sonny Rollins Jazz Ensemble
Bobby Ferrazza, director

Thursday, January 19
7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola at Lincoln Center
10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY

$35-$45 ($20 students)
Plus $21 food and beverage minimum per person 

For tickets, call 212-258-9800 or visit www.jazz.org.

The Oberlin Sonny Rollins Jazz Ensemble, led by Oberlin Conservatory professor of jazz guitar Bobby Ferrazza, was established at Oberlin through the support of the legendary saxophonist, who charges the group’s standout student performers to serve humanity through music.

The Sonny Ensemble’s unforgettable New York City debut came in January 2019 at Dizzy’s Club. Now they’re back at Dizzy’s for two sets featuring original works, arrangements, and compositions by Rollins.


  • George Rogers, saxophone
  • Jody Guldman, trumpet
  • Melvin Nimtz, trombone
  • Mitchell Galligan, piano
  • Kamran Curlin, bass
  • Jacob Clements, guitar
  • Noah Nelson, drums
  • Gillian Piper, voice
  • Bobby Ferrazza, director

About the artists

For more than 30 years, Cleveland, Ohio native and jazz guitarist Bobby Ferrazza has performed in concerts across the United States and beyond, with some of the most celebrated jazz musicians in the world, including Donald Byrd, Joey DeFrancesco, Joe Lovano, Art Farmer, Benny Golson, J.J. Johnson, Slide Hampton, Curtis Fuller, Billy Hart, Robin Eubanks, Gary Bartz, Dan Wall, Marcus Belgrave, Clark Terry, Steve Turre, Bill Watrous, Jack McDuff, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Greg Bandy, Ernestine Anderson, and Vanessa Rubin. Ferrazza’s early jazz studies were with jazz guitar legend Bill deArango. Ferrazza has been on the faculty at Oberlin Conservatory since 1988, and he also taught at Interlochen Arts Academy from 1992-96. At Oberlin, he teaches jazz guitar and he served as the Director of Jazz Studies for many years. He now leads the Oberlin Sonny Rollins Jazz Ensemble. 

Formed in 2018, the Oberlin Sonny Rollins Jazz Ensemble was made possible through a generous gift to Oberlin Conservatory by Rollins, the revered jazz saxophonist and composer. More than a mere spot in an elite unit, membership in the ensemble requires a commitment to service through music and willingness to give for others—core principles exemplified by Rollins throughout his life and career. Auditions for the "Sonny Ensemble"—a core ensemble based in Oberlin's Jazz Division—are held each year, and all Oberlin jazz students are eligible for inclusion beginning with their first year on campus. The "Sonny Ensemble" made its New York City debut performing two sets at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola. The following year, the ensemble made its West Coast debut in the Joe Henderson Lab at SFJAZZ in San Francisco. The ensemble returns to touring with the 2023 appearance back at Dizzy's Club and in outreach performances in the New York metro area.