Over two decades ago, a singer and piano player by the name of Yoko Noge came from Osaka, Japan to Chicago. She wanted to listen to the beautiful Chicago blues music and ended up forming her own band and singing on stage for others to hear.
Yoko Noge and the Jazz Me Blues Band were known in the Chicago area for their original music and soft tunes. The Jazz Me Blues had a few original members that were as famous as Yoko Noge herself, even though the band did not maintain its original formula over the years.
Steele ‘Sonny’ Seals was a tenor saxophone player for the Jazz Me Blues. His style was more blues oriented and brought a great contribution to the sound of the band. Sonny joined the Jazz e Blues Band in the late 1980s. Along his career, Seals played is session with B.B. King, Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole, Louis Armstrong and had a reputation as a wonderful and original player.
He was born on July 24th, 1941 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Steele studied music at the Governor’s State University and obtained his bachelor’s degree in the year 1976. As such, he could teach music and was a professor of music in some of Chicago’s public schools.
Due to a heart attack, Sonny Seals passed away on Thursday, October 17th at 2:30 PM in 2002. A wake for the musician was held at the HotHouse the next Monday on October 21st. The memorial service was held at the Christian Love Baptist Church in Michigan, Sonny’s home town. Information about the ceremony was publicly available on the website for all those who loved to hear Sonny play along the years.
Sonny Seals was married to Artelia and had three children together: Leonardo Conner, Candice Seals and Henri Ford. The musician’s father, Gene Seals and his four sisters, Beverly Jones, Denise Bryant, Paula Jones and Audrey Jackson will miss him deeply. He had six grandchildren at the time of his death and they all loved his music.