Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Alaadeen, Ahmad (Sonny White)
Alaadeen, Ahmad [Sonny White], tenor, alto and soprano saxophones, flute, clarinet, oboe; b. Kansas City, MO, 24 July 1934. He's the youngest of ten children born to Delbert White, b. 07-04-1884 and Eva (Oldham) White. b. 08-05-1889. In 1953, he met vocalist Ada Wilson. They had one child together, William Young. He later married Albertine Briley, aka Rafia Alaadeen. They had a son, Richard Lee White aka Ahmad Alaadeen, b. 1968.
During grade school he became known as Richard Lee White (no real significance in the name except that "Sonny" was not thought to be an appropriate name). In 1965, he moved to Chicago and joined the Nation of Islam. Shortly after accepting Islam, he legally changed his name to Ahmad Shahid Alaadeen.
He began his study of jazz with Charlie Parker's teacher, Leo H. Davis. He attended R.T. Coles High School and later received a Certificate of Diploma from the Kansas City Conservatory of Music. He also attended DePaul University, Chicago, St. Mary's College, San Antonio and Penn Valley Community College, Kansas City. He has lived and performed extensively in New York, Chicago, Denver, San Antonio, Kansas City and St. Louis.
He performed with Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, Jay McShann, Lena Horn, Lester Bowie, Ella Fitzgerald, Larry Young, Stan Kenton, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, and the Tonight Show Band. He has worked with top Rhythm and Blues artists including Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, Gladys Knight, Sam Cooke, The Temptations, The Drifters, The Ravens, The Four Tops, T-Bone Walker and Smokey Robinson. In addition to his own groups, performances in the '90s included ones with the Count Basie Orchestra and Jay McShann a s well as T. S. Monk, George Duke, Bobby Watson and Patti Austin .
ASR Records was established in 1995 by Ahmad Alaadeen and Fanny Dunfee to record deserving talent in the Midwestern area of the country - away from the New York scene.
Blues For RC and Josephine, Too (1995); Time Through The Ages (1997)
Billboard Song Writers Awards for his songs "Wayne Himself" (written for promoter Wayne K. Self) in 1995, Blues For RC 1991, and Big Six 1990
Jazz Composers Alliance Award in 1996 for "Wayne Himself"
Musician Magazine's 1996 Best Unsigned Band 1996
Recipient of The Kansas City Jazz Heritage Award, 1991
Missouri Artist of the Year 1992
2000 Rep. Karen McCarthy honored Alaadeen on the floor of the United States House of Representatives.
2001 Alaadeen received the Missouri Humanities Community Heritage Award.
2002, Missouri's Governor, Bob Holden, issued a Proclamation from the Office of the Governor, honoring Alaadeen for his contributions to Kansas City Jazz.
6610 West 67th Street
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