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Sonny & The Sunsets

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Biography

San Francisco, United States (2009 – present)

Sonny Smith began playing Jimmy Yancey covers on piano in little mountain town clubs of Colorado when he was 18. These piano gigs led him to Denver and then into Central America where he busked up and down the Telemanca Coast with a couple friends in a band. At this time he was working on screenplays which ultimately broke apart into long-winded songs with characters, dialogues and plots.

Sonny’s early CDs include This Is My Story, This Is My Song, released in 2002, followed the next year by Sordid Tales of Love and Woe, Sweet Lorraine featuring Jolie Holland on harmonies.

In 2000, he wrote and directed his first short movie “Kid Gus Man.” In 2005, he garnered a residency at the Headlands Center for the Arts to write and perform the play The Dangerous Stranger, and received a residency in 2006 from the LAB in San Francisco to produce part two of the saga, “Stranger Danger!”

Sonny also wrote “Steppin’ Out,” a column for the New Mission Newspaper, in addition to publishing stories in various literary magazines.

In 2005, Watchword Literary Magazine commissioned Sonny to produce One Act Plays, a CD that includes Edith Frost, Neko Case, Miranda July, Jolie Holland, Andy Cabic, Virgil Shaw, Mark Eitzel, John Dwyer and Mekons’ Rico Bell, among other talented artists. Following this was the release of Fruitvale, a collaboration with Wilco’s Leroy Bach and other Chicago musicians that features songs Sonny wrote about his then neighborhood in Oakland.

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