Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Green, Benny

Green, Benny, pianist; b. NY, 4 April 1963. He was raised in Berkeley, California. His father plays tenor saxophone and he used to listen to his father's jazz records. When he was six his family got a piano and he began improvising, so his parents got him a classical teacher the next year. After his third year, his teacher insisted he seek a jazz instructor because he was still improvising. In high school he also took up the Hammond B-3 organ, took trumpet lessons for a bit, and taught himself some bass.

His first paying gig was at the age of 15, playing electric piano in a schoolmate's Top 40 Band. In 1981 he was a winner in the IAJE Young Talent Program (Clifford Brown/Stan Getz Fellowship). He moved back to NY in 1983 and worked with Betty Carter from that year until he joined Art Blakey in 1987-89, Freddie Hubbard 1989-92. He toured with Ray Brown's trio in 1992-7, and during that time began teaching clinics. He was selected by Oscar Peterson for the Protege prize in 1993.

In 1997 he was touring the U.S., Canada and Japan with Ben Wolfe, and drummer Karriem Riggins. Since he has continued to be active as a leader, with Russell Malone and others.

He is a vegetarian.

Prelude (1988); Lineage (1990); In This Direction (1990); Greens (1991); Testifyin'! (1992)

Bill Milkowski: Benny Green, in: Down Beat (Aug.1991)
Robert Goldblum: Benny Green. Angles on Tradition, in: Jazziz (Oct/Nov.1990)
Don Hillegas: Benny Green, in: Cuadernos de Jazz, #6 (1991)
Mike Fish: Now's the Time Presents... Benny Green, Pianist, in: The Wire (Dec/Jan.1991/92)
Leonard Feather: Before & After. Benny Green, in: Jazz Times (Mar.1992)
Stuart Nicholson: Green Fingers, in: Jazz Express (Oct.1992)
Benny Green. Composer's Corner. That's Right!, in: The Jazz Report, 6/4 (Summer 1993) (sheet music)
Martin Johnson: Benny Green. Green with Gusto, in: Down Beat (Nov.1993)
Derk Richardson: The Greening of America, in: Piano & Keyboard (May/Jun.1994)
Bill King: In the Tradition. An Interview with Benny Green, in: The Jazz Report, 8/3 (Spring 1995)
Alwyn & Laurie Lewis: Benny Green Interview, in: Cadence (Feb.1995)
Dan Ouellette: Redman & Green. The Berkeley Boys, in: Down Beat (May 1996)
George Andrews (ed.): The Benny Green Collection - Artists Transcriptions Piano;
Online chat, jazzcentral, 3/4/97

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