In the winter of 2018 Sonny Saul composed a four part suite for improvisation dedicated to Abdullah Ocalan. Ocalan is a political prisoner, held in solitary confinement on Imrali Island prison in Turkey, who, under these conditions has written books which have not only revolutionized Kurdish politics but influenced political thinking world wide.

The music hopes to call attention to the unjust imprisonment, to the ideas of Ocalan, to the struggles of the Kurdish peoples, and to the inspirational women-led political revolution taking place in Northern Syria today. Sonny and his son Quincy talk briefly about Ocalan and some of Ocalan’s ideas and influence prior to the music.

Includes discussion about Ocalan (at the beginning of the video)

Lukas Saul, clarinet; Glendon Ingalls, bass; Tim Gilmore, drums; Sonny Saul, piano


The son of a Russian Jewish father and an Irish Catholic mother, Sonny Saul was born in 1949 in Atlantic City, New Jersey where he grew up.

Beach, boardwalk, playgrounds, and attending public schools in a rich and diverse American cultural milieu shaped his youth. College, an early marriage, babies, life in Philadelphia, and then a great music teacher, Dennis Sandole, set the tone for what has become a life long involvement with family, music, art, and scholarship.

Now living in Woodstock, Vermont where he runs the famous Pleasant Street Bookstore which he started in 1987, Sonny continues to keep a loose wig.

The music had been performed and recorded twice -! once in jazz quartet format, and once with a large Arkestra.  Both can be seen and heard at my website.  Go to Music, then Recordings.  Please feel free to use these in any way that might be helpful.  The Arkestra concert was a big success and introduced many to the ideas of Abdullah Ocalan.