Department of Music : Faculty

Jimmy Greene

Assistant Professor of MusicDr. Margaret Astrup
Coordinator of Jazz Studies
Applied Jazz Saxophone, Jazz Improvisation, Jazz Orchestra, Jazz Theory, Jazz Arranging, Jazz Pedagogy, Jazz History

Jimmy Greene is Coordinator of Jazz Studies and Assistant Professor of Music at Western Connecticut State University. He teaches applied jazz saxophone, jazz history, jazz pedagogy, jazz improvisation, jazz theory, jazz arranging, conducts the jazz orchestra and was awarded a 2013 Outstanding Faculty Award for his efforts. Previously, he served as Assistant Professor of Jazz Saxophone at the University of Manitoba, Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Purchase College (State University of New York) and Artist Teacher at the Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz at the Hartt School (University of Hartford). Greene has given clinics and master classes throughout the United States, Canada, Brazil, Israel and Russia. Three of his former students have been named semi-finalists in the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute International Jazz Competition and 18 student musicians and small ensembles under Greene’s direction have won DownBeat Magazine Student Music Awards.

A native of Hartford, CT, Greene is considered one of the most respected saxophonists of his generation since his graduation from the Hartt School of Music in 1997. 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) have been met with much critical acclaim. In fact, Tony Hall of Jazzwise Magazine (UK) calls Greene “ . . .without doubt one of the most striking young tenors of recent years.”  His most recent recording, Beautiful Life (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 in Newtown, CT. The album features touching performances by giants like Pat Metheny, Christian McBride, Kenny Barron and Kurt Elling amongst many others.

The Jimmy Greene Quartet performs regularly in concert venues, festivals and clubs worldwide, including 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 one such appearance, Jim Macnie of the Village Voice said, “[Greene] is good for a couple of body chills every time you see him. He’s got a big barrelhouse sound, and a way of negotiating changes that make academic moves seem natural.”

In addition to his recordings and appearances as a leader, Greene appears on 75 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 member of Harrell’s quintet, Greene was featured on CBS’s benchmark news magazine, 60 Minutes. As a member of Harry Connick Jr.’s Big Band, Greene is a featured soloist on 2 DVD releases, Harry for the Holidays, and Only You. He was featured as a soloist on Connick’s 2003 holiday special aired on NBC, in addition to NBC’s Today Show, and BBC’s Parkinson Show.

As a composer, Greene was awarded the prestigious 2005 ASCAP / IAJE Commission in honor of Ornette Coleman. Greene 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. In addition, Greene’s performance of his composition “Mr. McLean” was aired throughout the US and Canada on ABC-TV during a NASCAR pre-race broadcast in September 2007.

Jimmy was named First Runner-Up in the 1996 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition, and was named one of the “25 Young Rising Stars in Jazz” by DownBeat Magazine in 1999.  Greene graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Jazz Studies from the Hartt School and holds a master’s degree in Music Education from Boston University. He was awarded the Clement Meadmore Scholarship by the Manhattan School of Music and is currently a doctoral candidate in Jazz Arts at MSM whose primary mentors have included Jackie McLean, Jim McNeely, Garry Dial, Justin DiCioccio, David Liebman, Dave Santoro, Kris Jensen, Steve Davis, Ken Radnofsky and Janet Arms.

Jimmy Greene is a clinician for Borgani Saxophones and Vandoren Mouthpieces, Reeds and Ligatures and uses their products exclusively.