Jack Sonni dies aged 68, Musician passed away unexpectedly

Musician Jack Sonni died. (Source: Facebook)
Musician Jack Sonni died. (Source: Facebook)


Guitarist Jack Sonni, a gifted musician known for his proficiency with the instrument, unfortunately, passed away at the age of 68. He was well-known in Greenwich Village’s thriving music community.

An outstanding musical legacy is left behind by Jack Sonni. Keep reading to know more about the musician Jack Sonni and his cause of death in detail.

Who was Jack Sonni?

Jack Sonni was an American writer, musician and marketing executive. When Dire Straits released Brothers in Arms, he was best known as “the other guitarist” in the group.

Sonni was initially drawn to music as a young age and studied piano, trumpet, and guitar before switching at the age of 14. He left the University of Connecticut, where he was majoring in literature, to enroll in the Hartford Conservatory of Music because he was so passionate about the instrument.

As Musician

After graduating, Eastman alumnus and bandmate of Tony Levin and Steve Gadd, keyboardist Michael Holmes, introduced Sonni to New York session guitarist Elliott Randall (renowned for his solo on the hit song “Reelin’ In the Years”). Sonni moved to NYC and started his job after Randall persuaded him to do so.

From 1976 until 1985, Jack stayed in NYC. He initially tried to get into the session scene but eventually shifted his attention to his own band. Sonni’s band The Leisure Class had established themselves as a Monday night staple at Greenwich Village’s Kenny’s Castaways, the venue for up-and-coming bands, in the late 1970s.

Sonni started working at Alex Music on 48th Street in Manhattan in the fall of 1977. He began working at the recently founded Rudy’s Music Stop, run by luthier Rudy Pensa, in 1978. It was there that he first met David and then Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits.

After Sonni paid the Knopflers a visit in London, Sonni was invited to join the group for the Brothers in Arms recording sessions in 1984 and the ensuing tour after David (and eventually Hal Lindes) quit the group.

Jack agreed and contributed the guitar synthesizer to “The Man’s Too Strong.” Together with Dire Straits, Sonni performed at the Live Aid concert held on July 13, 1985, at Wembley.

As Marketing Executive

Sonni continued to work with other musicians after his time with Dire Straits, but he ended his career in music when his twin girls were born in 1988. He started a second career as a marketing executive, working first at Seymour Duncan, then at Rivera Guitar Amplifiers, and then for a while at Line 6, a company that makes digital technology products for artists. He had a key role in the creation and introduction of POD, which he dubbed and gave the product its fabled form. He joined Guitar Center in 2001 as vice president of marketing communication, a post he held until 2006.

As Writer

Sonni quit his job at Guitar Center in the summer of 2006 to pursue a career as a writer. He subsequently went to Healdsburg, California, until January 2012, when he briefly moved to Brooklyn. In 2007, Sonni moved to San Jose del Cabo.

Up to its closure in 2017, Sonni served as the Noepe Center for Literary Arts’ house manager and resident writer. Additionally, he had resumed performing regularly with his band, The Leisure Class. He frequently performed with other former Dire Straits members as part of the DSL, Dire Straits Legacy initiative.

How did Jack Sonni die? What was his cause of death?

Jack Sonni, also known as Jack, passed away suddenly on August 30, 2023, leaving behind a sense of loss.

Jack Sonni was unable to take part in the performance that was scheduled on Tuesday owing to health issues, DSL Dire Straits Legacy announced on Facebook two days earlier. But they remained silent about what happened.

Dire Straits Legacy wrote,

Important Notice
Dear fans,
unfortunately Jack Sonni will not be able to participate in our next gigs because of health problems.
Jack, get better soon, we are waiting for you!
with love, the DSL family ❤️

At the moment, it is unknown what caused his death. As soon as we learn more about the circumstances surrounding his passing, we will publish further information about what happened.

His obituary and information regarding his funeral plans will be released by Jack Sonni’s family in due course. The family is currently giving itself the appropriate time to grieve this loss. They’ll give updates on the arrangements for his funeral as soon as they’re ready.

Tributes to Jack Sonni

Many people expressed their profound sympathies to his family and expressed how much they loved him. The news of this occurrence has upset his supporters and fans.

Guitariest Scott Hyward wrote: “This bloke sadly passed away yesterday and disregarding the fact that he was an incredible musician, this post is a celebration of what an amazing bloke he was. This is Jack Sonni, side man for Mark Knopfler during Dire Straits absolute domination of the music world in the mid 80’s.After the Black Saturday fires in 2009 I was a bit lost and somehow (pre Facebook for me) I ended up Jack’s email pen pal and given the honour of reading drafts of his memoirs from the Dire Straits era.He was wise and compassionate and took the time to connect with his audience. RIP to a true rock star.”

Guitarist Benny Landa wrote: “I’m sad to hear about my friend Jack Sonni passing away. I met Jack when I was very young around the village and we played together at a big party for him at the Cat Club when Money For Nothing was the biggest record in the world & Dire Straits was probably the biggest band in the world from that one. I was playing with Baker Lee in his band and our drummer Dug Rock was close with Jack. So Mark Knopfler, Jack and the bass player John Illsley(I think) joined us and we had a blast for 45 mins or so.Then we played together again at a reunion at Kenny’s Castaways, and he was such a bright light and so much fun to be on stage with.Great vibe and talented opened kind of player & musician. I was always hoping we can get together again. Going to miss you Jack and our little talks and interactions online, your videos. Rest in peace brother. Sending deepest condolences to his family and friends. ❤️🙏😢🎸”

A true virtuoso was lost to the music world on August 30, 2023. The sorrow left by Sonni’s demise cannot be filled, but his melodies and the memories he gave to his many fans around the world ensure that his legacy will endure. He will always be regarded as a multifaceted musician and artist whose talents cut across boundaries and enhanced culture and music.

Keep checking back to our website to read more articles of a similar nature, and don’t forget to leave supportive comments for Jack Sonni’s cherished family as they navigate this difficult period.


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