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Sonny Emory

Sonny Emory's Biography

The foundation of music can sometimes be derived from the steady rhythmic sounds of a kick drum combined with a high hat and snare. Often musicians in a band will find a source of energy in the steady beat of the drummer. We have all witnessed thousands of concert-going fans in a subconscious state of rocking as a show progresses through a long list of world-renowned hits. If you have had the pleasure of witnessing Sonny Emory, you will agree that he has mastered the discipline of providing the musical foundation upon which many of those hits have been built.

Receiving his first drum set at age 4, Sonny was influenced by the quality time spent with his father, a saxophonist and his grandfather, a keyboardist, jamming in their home. Sonny played in his elementary and high school bands and went on to become a part of the orchestra and jazz ensemble in college. In 1986 a move to Los Angeles proved to be the place where opportunity met preparation. There he began his transition to becoming a professional drummer, playing with Joe Sample and the Crusaders.

Sonny has an on-going commitment to balancing academics and entertainment. He is a graduate of Georgia State University with a B.A. in Jazz Performance. As a part time professor of applied percussion at Georgia State University, Sonny believes that success comes from God-given talent, staying in school, developing your craft, and setting long-term goals.

Sonny's credits are many. From 1987 to 1999 he held down the drum chair with the legendary R&B group Earth, Wind & Fire. He co-wrote the tune "Cruising" with members of that band, which can be heard on the score to Spike Lee's 1998 motion picture, "Get On the Bus". He also worked on the "Lethal Weapon II" soundtrack with Eric Clapton and David Sanborn. Sonny has recorded, and or performed, with a virtual "who's who" in pop and jazz music, including, Stanley Clarke, David Sanborn, Bette Midler, Al Jarreau, Paula Abdul, Jean-Luc Ponty and Boz Scaggs.

Sonny draws from all aspects of music as a producer/performer. In 1996, he released "Hypnofunk", a solo project co-produced by Earth, Wind & Fire's founder, Maurice White. This project displays the musical flavors of jazz, R&B, rock and funk, reflective of his band, with the same name. Hypnofunk blends hypnotic grooves and smooth vocals. Hypnofunk, the band, provides Sonny the artistic vehicle to bring the world his message through music.

Yamaha Drums is proud to be associated with such a talented musician and friend.

Sonny Emory

Gear List

PHXOak CustomBirch NouveauNBD-822U 22”x17”NTT-808J 8”x7”NTT-810U 10”x8” NTT-812U 12”x9”NTT-814 14”x12”NTT-816 16”x14”NSD-1260M 12”x6” MusashiWSD-1455SE 14”x5.5” Sonny Emory Signature Beech