A lover of music and a student of rhythm since birth, Sonny’s rhythmic and harmonic explorations have stretched over many styles and genres over his 34 year career primarily performing as tapper, slapper, banger and player of all things drum-able in his youth, including such surfaces as table tops, pots, pans, garbage cans, back of the car head rest and heads of siblings.
Later, he went on to refine his approach as percussionist and drummer for a variety of rock, soul, blues, jazz, folk, funk and freestyle; world-beat fusion, rhumba flamenco, african roots, dance, trance; orchestral and marching band ensembles. Studying piano and percussion with a variety of teachers and masters for over 15 years. whilst performing, competing and facilitating in numerous festivals and world championships. Not to mention his love for vocal percussion (Beatboxing) which he loves to teach and performs wherever he goes. Today, Sonny enjoys drumming, travelling, writing, speaking publicly, all things consciousness, inner and outer space and singing with his guitar offering a beautifully enchanted blend of spirit and soul, performing in both English and Spanish as well as chanting in the ancient Sanskrit language from India.
Sonny shares the songs life has passed down through him in a healing heart-centered experience of psychic/mystic folk and musical prayer.
Sonny Davis was born in Calgary, Alberta Canada to parents of Irish and German decent. At age five, shortly before his parents separated, he was diagnosed with a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy known as CMT or Charcot Marie Tooth disease. Aside from experiencing this degenerative nerve and muscle disorder; greatly effecting his arms and legs; with the help of certain aids such as braces, canes walkers and wheelchairs, Sonny’s youth was chalked full of belief bending and mind altering events that would contradict the opinions of his family, doctors and peers, including himself and his mother, who was determined to get him involved in as many activities as possible growing up, such as sea scouts, marching band, athletics and wheelchair racing.
Sonny claims doctors told him at an early age that the type of MD he had was life threatening, and that he wouldn’t live to see age 30. This would later be proven wrong. Yet his condition would remain degenerative in nature, which in disabled athletics, time and again fell into an ambiguously gray area when it came to classifying him as an athlete in wheelchair racing.
In a heroic effort to overcome the fears that accompanied this finite belief; leading up to his 30th birthday and shortly after having been revoked of the athlete card he needed to race for team Canada in the 2008 Beijing Paralymics; Sonny began to consider his life and what he felt was his deepest purpose for living. Drawing from such a deep well of inspiration over a 30 year period, Sonny wanted to give back in a way he thought would inspire and honour not only his body but his family, friends and his childhood heroes.
And just in case his doctors were right, he decided he needed to go on a long trip.
He swiftly organized a small humble pit crew and began rolling wheels off Canada’s west coast across the country in a support campaign to raise money, awareness and above all – inspiration for Muscular Dystrophy. After a demanding start from Mile zero in Victoria BC, and many a stop to continue his fund raising efforts, as well as the sudden passing of his father along route, Sonny and chair called journeys end half way in Thunder Bay Ontario after three months and nine days of pushing his hand cycle wheelchair on the shoulder of Canada’s #1 highway. His dream was to go coast to coast, but with the few set backs experienced he was forced to recalibrate the end location and arrival time.
Soon after, Sonny was asked to join the Man in Motion – Rick Hansen on his 25th Anniversary relay celebrating 25 years of spinal cord injury research and the original Man in Motion odyssey. On this 25th Anniversary, it was 7000 difference makers from across Canada participating in a coast to coast relay AND Rick needed athletes. Endurance athletes to be exact.
What that meant was Sonny had been given another chance to fulfill his trans-Canada dream, only this time he would be travelling in the opposite direction from the east coast, west towards Thunder Bay. Sonny shares his tale with an inspiring talk about overcoming fears and how he came to develop his own personal power and “whatever it takes attitude” in the midst of any so called limitation.
Sonny, right from his early years, has always been a source of inspiration. By sharing his story imbued with courage, hope and bravery, Sonny trusts others will be inspired and motivated to do whatever it takes to realize their full potential of self love and mastery. To Sonny, this is ‘involution.’ Which, among countless other recordings; Sonny aptly gave name to his debut album. Available at www.sonnymusic.net
For overcoming adversity, at the age of 13, he received one of the highest awards in Canada that a scout can receive presented to him by the Governor General Ray Hnatyshyn. He was the Alberta Junior Champion for 800m, 400m and 200m in wheelchair racing. He joined and competed and travelled all over North America for 7 years with a Marching Brass Ensemble playing percussion instruments in their pit section.
“I don’t know why I have this disease but I know I can do more with it than without it.”
Sonny has definitely lived up to that remark and continues to follow the path of music and sound, sharing his light, love and healing codes wherever he goes.
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