A native of Hartford, Connecticut, Jimmy Greene is considered one of the most respected saxophonists of his generation. His recent recording, “Flowers: Beautiful Life Vol. 2” (Mack Avenue), is a celebration of the life of his 6-year-old daughter, Ana Márquez-Greene, whose life was tragically taken in December 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School. His prior release, “Beautiful Life” (Mack Avenue), also dedicated to Ana’s life, garnered two Grammy nominations, one for best jazz instrumental album and one for best arrangement, instruments and vocals for Greene’s song “When I Come Home.”
His previous solo releases, “Live at Smalls” (SmallsLive), “Mission Statement” (RazDaz/Sunnyside), “The Overcomers Suite” (NuJazz), “Gifts and Givers” (Criss Cross), “True Life Stories” (Criss Cross), “Forever” (Criss Cross), “Brand New World” (RCA Victor), “Live at Birdland” (RCA Victor) and “Introducing Jimmy Greene” (Criss Cross) were also met with much critical acclaim. In fact, Tony Hall of Jazzwise Magazine calls Greene “without doubt one of the most striking young tenors of recent years.”
The Jimmy Greene Quartet performs regularly in concert venues, festivals and clubs worldwide, including Jazz Standard and Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola (New York), Le Club (Moscow), Casa del Jazz (Rome), Sunside Jazz Club (Paris), Red Sea Jazz Festival (Israel), Lapataia Jazz Festival (Uruguay) and Amazonas Jazz Festival (Brazil).
In addition to his recordings and appearances as a leader, Greene appears on 80 albums as a sideman, and has toured and/or recorded with Horace Silver, Tom Harrell, Freddie Hubbard, Harry Connick, Jr., Avishai Cohen, Kenny Barron, Lewis Nash, Steve Turre, the New Jazz Composers Octet and the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, among many others.
As a composer, Greene was awarded the prestigious 2005 ASCAP/IAJE Commission in honor of Ornette Coleman. He is the 2013 recipient of the State of Connecticut Governor’s Arts Award in Music, as well as the 2012 recipient of the City of Hartford’s Innovator Award in Music. Greene was named a 2004 winner of Chamber Music America’s New Works: Creation and Presentation grant for jazz composition, awarded a 2005 Artist Fellowship in Music Composition by the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, and awarded a 2009 Individual Artist Grant by the Greater Hartford Arts Council. Forty of Greene’s original compositions and arrangements have been recorded on the Mack Avenue, RCA Victor, SmallsLive, Criss Cross, NuJazz and RazDaz/Sunnyside labels.
Greene was the winner of the 66th annual DownBeat Magazine Critics Poll in the Rising Star: Soprano Saxophone category. He was also named first runner-up in the 1996 Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz International Jazz Saxophone Competition.
Greene is a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music’s doctor of musical arts program in jazz arts advancement and received the Helen Cohn Award for outstanding DMA graduate. During his time at MSM, he was also named a Jazz Arts Fellow and was awarded the Clement Meadmore Scholarship.
Greene holds a master’s degree in music education from Boston University and a bachelor of music degree in African-American music studies from the Hartt School. Greene’s primary mentors have included Jackie McLean, Jim McNeely, Garry Dial, Justin DiCioccio, David Liebman, Phil Markowitz, Dave Santoro, Kris Jensen, Steve Davis, Ken Radnofsky and Janet Arms.
Please note: Biographies are based on information provided to the CSO by the artists or their representatives. More current information may be available on websites of the artists or their management.