2017 FORT ADAMS LINEUP
FRIDAY AUGUST 4, 2017
Jimmy Greene Quartet
Jimmy Greene’s new release, Beautiful Life on Mack Avenue Records, is a celebration of the life of his 6-year-old daughter, Ana Márquez-Greene, whose life was tragically taken, along with 19 other children and 6 educators, on December 14, 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
Greene himself is one of the most respected saxophonists of his generation since graduating from Hartt School of Music in 1997. He composed or arranged every selection and plays tenor and soprano saxophones as well as flute with
customary authority, melodic focus and abiding soulfulness.
“In the days after my daughter was killed, playing and writing music wasn’t even a thought,” the 39-year-old saxophonist says. “I was very much in shock, grieving deeply and trying to just function coherently. Family and friends surrounded us and held us up, and we received 10,000 communications—emails, texts, Facebook messages, voice calls, letters—from people around the world. The community of musicians was front and center for that support. When I called, they responded, ‘Whatever you need, just say the word, and I’ll be there.’”
In late January 2013, Greene, feeling that “I needed to get back to some sense of routine,” resumed a regimen of practice and composition. Soon thereafter, Norman Chesky, the co-owner of Chesky Records and HDtracks, reached out with an extraordinary offer.
“An intense amount of media attention was focused on my family and all of us in Newtown, so I was fairly guarded whenever communicating with someone for the first time,” Greene relates. “But Norman offered to donate the production of a recording that I could do whenever I was ready, and to give me complete ownership. I was humbled and honored by his generosity, and began to devote my energies to the project.”
Greene decided to weave lyrics and singers into the flow for the first time on one of his recordings. “Ana loved to sing and listen to singers, and had a wonderful singing voice,” he explains. “So an album dedicated to her memory needed to have singers and songs that were important to her and me and my family.”
Greene’s latest recording, “Beautiful Life,” has been nominated for two Grammy Awards: Best Jazz Instrumental Album and Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals (for the song “When I Come Home”). The album was released by the Mack Avenue label. Joining Greene on the record are pianists Kenny Barron, Cyrus Chestnut and Renee Rosnes; bassist Christian McBride; guitarist Pat Metheny; drummer Lewis Nash; vocalists Javier Colon and Latanya Farrell; and a 13-piece string ensemble from the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.