Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Greene, Jimmy (James Sidney Greene, Jr.)

Greene, Jimmy [James Sidney Greene, Jr.], saxophonist, composer, educator; b. Hartford, CT, 24 February 1975. Greene's parents James S. Greene, Sr. (b.1946 Tuscaloosa, AL) and Renee Simmons (b.1949 Middletown, CT) started him on alto saxophone at age six, and encouraged him to practice. James Sr, a musician is his own right, wrote, arranged and produced several R+B singles in the early-mid '70's. Growing up, his siblings were also musically inclined. Sister Nayre (b.1974) played piano, flute, trumpet and sang. Sister Amanda (b.1980) played saxophone and sang. Brother Dorian (b.1980) played trumpet, drums and currently produces and performs hip-hop music.

As a high school student, Greene was selected to perform in several Regional, All-Connecticut, and All-New England jazz ensembles and symphonic bands, and studied with saxophonist Tom Johnston (1990-91). Greene's music teacher at Bloomfield High School arranged for him to meet and play for Jackie McLean at the famed altoist's community arts school, The Artists' Collective. McLean's teaching over the subsequent years (1990-1997) gave the young musician a firm foundation in improvisation, a profound viewpoint of the jazz tradition, as well as the inspiration to seek his own musical identity.

Greene formed his first quintet while in high school (1991), and began composing music soon thereafter. He was awarded a scholarship from the Saxophone Journal to attend the David Liebman Summer Saxophone Workshop (1992), and during his senior year, augmented his studies at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Performing Arts under bassist/educator Dave Santoro (1992-93). Greene graduated from Bloomfield High School (1993) with high honors. He continued his studies at the Hartt School/University of Hartford with Jackie McLean, trombonist Steve Davis, and saxophonists Ken Radnofsky and Kris Jensen (1993-97). During his final year at Hartt, Greene performed often alongside trumpeter Claudio Roditi.

Greene graduated from The Hartt School with a B.Mus. in African American Music Studies, 1997. In September 1997, he moved to New York City; not long after becoming a member of the Horace Silver Quintet. In addition to the legendary pianist's group, Greene has performed regularly with the small groups of Tom Harrell, Steve Turre, Lewis Nash, Avishai Cohen, Ralph Peterson, Kenny Barron, Jeremy Pelt, and TanaReid, as well as the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, Freddie Hubbard and the New Jazz Composers' Octet, and the big bands of Harry Connick, Jr., Jason Lindner, and Kendrick Oliver.  As a leader, Greene made considerable advances after moving to New York. In the final months of 1997, he performed with his quintet for a week at The Jazz Standard. In addition to The Jazz Standard, Greene's band has been heard in New York at Small's, Birdland, and Kavehaz. Greene was also honored in the June 1999 issue of Down Beat magazine. 

Greene holds faculty positions at Hartt and the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts. Greene currently resides in Connecticut with his wife, Nelba, an accomplished flutist and educator (b.1975), and performs weekly in the music ministry of his home church, Glory Chapel International Cathedral.

Recordings:
Introducing Jimmy Greene (1997); Brand New World (2000)
As sideperson:
Claudio Roditi: Double Standards (1996); Explorers Quintet: New Beginnings (1997); Louis Smith: Soon (1997); Lamont Johnson: 242 E.3rd St. (1998); New Jazz Composers Octet: First Steps into Reality (1998), Walkin' The Line (2001);
Naoko Fujimoto: Jazzy Road (1999); Various Artists: Haunted Melody -Tribute to Rahsann Roland Kirk (1999); Horace Silver: Jazz Has a Sense of Humor (1999); Darren Barrett: First One Up (1999); Deelings (2001); Avishai Cohen: Devotion (1999), Colors (2000); Jason Lindner Ensemble: Premonition (2000); Various Artists: As Long as You're Living Yours-The Music of Keith Jarrett (2000); Chick Corea and Origin: Originations (2000); Tom Harrell: Paradise (2001), Live at the Village Vanguard (2002); Harry Connick, Jr.: Songs I Heard (2001); Omer Avital Group: Think With Your Heart (2001); Mario Pavone: Totem Blues (2001); Jeremy Pelt: Profile (2001), Insight (2002); Ralph Peterson: The Art of War (2001), Subliminal Seduction (2002); Kendrick Oliver and the New Life Jazz Orchestra: Welcome to New Life (2002)
Unissued recordings:
Various Artists: Jam Session (1997, unreleased); Various Artists: Jam Session (1998, unreleased); Adam Scone (1998, unreleased); Armen Marmalejo (2001, unreleased)

Bibliography:
JazzTimes Magazine  March 2000  "Hearsay : Jimmy Greene" by Willard Jenkins
Down Beat Magazine  June 1999   "Jimmy Greene: The Fast Track" by Zan Stewart
The New York Times   December 25, 1997 "A Club Takes a Risk on a Fiery Sax Player" by Ben Ratliff
Jazzwise (UK) Magazine  May 2000 "Next Generation: Takin' Off" by Tom Barlow
The Hartford Courant March 20, 1994 "Brotherhood of Jazz Links Talented Teens" by Owen McNally
The New England Jazz News Jan/Feb 1997 "Profile :Jimmy Greene" by Maurice Robertson
The Saxophone Journal  Nov/Dec 1997  "Career Management : The Competition" by Greg Banaszak
The Hartford Advocate  Dec 5-12, 1996  "Getting a Greene Light" by Steve Starger
The Hartford Courant November 21, 1996 "Don't Play the Blues for Talented Sax Player. . ." by Michael Remez

Awards:
Trustee - The Hartt School/University of Hartford
Named one of "Top Twenty-Five Rising Stars in Jazz" by Down Beat Magazine - June 1999
First Runner-Up - 1996 Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz International Jazz Saxophone Competition-Washington, D.C.
Summa Cum Laude Graduate-The Hartt School/University of Hartford 1997
Inducted into Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society 1997
Full Tuition Scholarship Recipient-The Hartt School/ University of Hartford 1993-1997
Selected to 1993 Grammy All-American High School Jazz Ensemble
Most Outstanding Soloist-1993 Berklee College of Music High School Jazz Ensemble Festival-Boston, Massachusetts
Graduate with High Honors-Bloomfield High School 1993

Contact information:
WEBSITE: www.jimmygreene.com
EMAIL:greenejimmy@aol.com

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