Benny Green Trio with David Wong & Kenny Washington; Monday, July 14, 2014

Benny Green Trio with David Wong & Kenny Washington
Live Recording Performance!
Monday, July 14
Kuumbwa Jazz Center

Piano favorite Benny Green returns to Kuumbwa Jazz to finish his eagerly awaited recording “Live at Kuumbwa” with bassist David Wong and drummer Kenny Washington. Benny Green’s keyboard genius has accompanied the vocal artistry of Betty Carter, apprenticed in the ranks of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, and ultimately replaced the great Gene Harris in the trio of bass legend Ray Brown. Despite flirtations with other styles of music, Green remains a respected “keeper of the hard bop flame,” demonstrating a flair for tasteful swinging that burns brightly under his own flawless, ambidextrous technique and imaginative, one-of-a-kind improvisations. In 2013, Green returned to Kuumbwa to mark the twentieth anniversary of Bassface: Live at Kuumbwa with bassist Ray Brown with another in-concert recording, this time with his own trio. This evening is the culmination of last years two-night live recording, with another live recording performance to finish up his soon-to-be released CD “Live at Kuumbwa.”

Born in New York and raised in Berkeley, California, Benny Green started piano lessons at age 6. His father, a tenor saxophonist and a jazz fan, had a large record collection that enthralled young Benny. An early inspiration was Thelonious Monk, which was the first step on a long inspiring journey through the historic pantheon of great jazz pianists. By his teens, he was playing gigs with trumpeter Eddie Henderson and saxophonist Bobby Watson. He left the Bay Area for New York City, with his sights set on the piano chair of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. But in 1983 Betty Carter – always on the lookout for talented young players – “discovered” Benny playing in a jazz trio at a small bar and snagged him for her own band. He remembers his time with the iconoclastic singer as a wonderful, educational period in his early career.

After four very productive years, Green graduated from the “University of Betty Carter” as a seasoned, first rate accompanist. In 1987 Green was invited to join Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, finally realizing his childhood dream. Like Carter, Blakey was another serial curator of up-and-coming jazz talent. After several years of excellent music making, he left Blakey to work with trumpet legend Freddie Hubbard, himself a Jazz Messenger alumnus. He toured with Freddie Hubbard and occasionally led his own trios over the next couple of years. In 1993, Green replaced pianist Gene Harris in the trio of bass legend Ray Brown. Shortly thereafter, they recorded BassFace: Live at the Kuumbwa, for Tel Arc Records. In 1997, Benny left Brown to re-establish his solo career, experimenting and exploring different avenues of expression. He has continued to perform and record with a diverse range of musicians, including Christian McBride, Russell Malone, Bucky Pizzarelli, and Anat Cohen.

Benny Green Trio

DATE:  Monday, July 14, 2014
VENUE: Kuumbwa Jazz Center
ADDRESS: 320 Cedar St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
TIME: 7:00 PM
PRICE: $25/Adv $30/Door; No comp tickets
TICKETS: Logos Books & Records, 1117 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz (831) 427-5100 and online at:
MORE INFO: or 831-427-2227

Media contact:
Anna Sala
(201) 928-0513

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