It is almost impossible to imagine where modern Jamaican music might be without the presence of island jazz pioneer Sonny Bradshaw. A skilled trumpeter (he also plays piano, flügelhorn, clarinet, trombone, and saxophone), Bradshaw has distinguished himself in a long six-decade career (he was born in 1926) as a musician, bandleader, composer, producer, arranger, and promoter as well as a journalist, teacher, and broadcaster. His Sonny Bradshaw 7, formed in the '50s, became a training ground for countless Jamaican musicians, and the long-running Jamaican Big Band, also assembled by Bradshaw in the '50s to play the swing and jazz he loved, served a similar function. Teenage Dance Party, Bradshaw's early-'60s radio show, was instrumental in getting local Jamaican music played on the airwaves. He served for 25 years as the president of the Jamaican Federation of Musicians and is the founder and director of the Ocho Rios Jazz Festival. He is married to the singer and actress Myrna Hague.
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