This concert is generously underwritten in part by Mary Ann Boatright
in loving memory of Alan Kleinman
Benny Green possesses the history of jazz at his fingertips. Combine mastery of keyboard technique with decades of real world experience playing with the most celebrated artists of the last half century, and it’s no wonder Green has been hailed as perhaps the most exciting hard-swinging, hard-bop pianist to ever emerge from Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers.
Unconditionally, Benny Green is the bearer of the torch and guardian of a legacy handed down to him by his musical mentors. His most recent recordings, Live in Santa Cruz (2015) and Magic Beans (2012) (Sunnyside) are shining examples of his brilliance. Since emerging under the four-year tutelage of Betty Carter, then Art Blakey, Freddie Hubbard and Ray Brown in the 1980s, Benny Green has become a highly regarded pianist and bandleader. His efforts to expand upon the vocabulary of the classical jazz canon have placed him not only among the best interpreters but also among the vanguard of musicians who perpetuate the evolution of jazz music.
Born in New York in 1963, Benny Green grew up in Berkeley, California, and began classical piano studies at the age of seven. Influenced by his father, a tenor saxophonist, his attention soon turned to Jazz: “I began trying to improvise on the piano, imitating the records I’d been hearing from my father’s collection, which included a lot of Monk and Bird… it was a gradual process of teaching myself”. Benny never looked back and never stopped learning as his blossoming talents, supported by mentors such as Walter Bishop, Jr. and others, plus his love for the music propelled him to the upper strata of jazz luminaries. Unquestionably, the experience he gained from the demanding, nurturing Betty Carter and the necessity of giving one's all on the bandstand every night instilled by drummer Art Blakey created this extraordinary performer and educator.
Benny Green - piano
David Wong - acoustic bass Rodney Green - drums
Funding for South Florida JAZZ is provided in part by grant from the Broward County
Board of County Commissioners as recommended by the Broward Cultural Division
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