VERONICA SWIFT w/ BENNY GREEN TRIO
Benny Green’s jazz is rooted in the best piano tradition, the one that starts with classicism (Art Tatum above all) to arrive at the bebop of Bud Powell and Thelonious Monk. Oscar Peterson is another of Green’s main inspirers. Today the New York pianist is a model of formal elegance and musicality that has very few equals.
Growing up in California, Green began playing professionally in clubs in San Francisco while still studying at Berkeley High School. His first interest was in classical music but he soon passed to jazz, influenced by his father, Bert Green, a tenor saxophonist with the myth of Lester Young. Back in New York, Green had his first bookings with Betty Carter and then with Art Blakey and his Jazz Messengers, the real university of hard bop. A particularly important experience was his militancy in the trio of Ray Brown, in the period 1993-2003. He has also recorded with Freddie Hubbard, Milt Jackson, Gary Bartz, Anat Cohen. Recently at Umbria Jazz he was the protagonist, with four other pianists, of an original tribute to Monk’s anniversary. Most of his discography, however, sees him in the classic trio line-up, of which he is a true specialist, but he has given remarkable performances in the piano solo formula.
At Umbria Jazz 19 Green will be heard both in piano solo in a concert in the National Gallery of Umbria, and with his trio in the SINA Brufani Hotel – Sala Raffaello every day at 6.30 pm from Saturday 13 to Saturday 20, July in an “Apéritif in Jazz” presented by the Birdland Jazz Club of New York. Performing with the trio will be Veronica Swift, a young singer in great ascent in the crowded and competitive scenario of jazz vocality. Swift came second in the 2016 Thelonious Monk Competition, the year in which Jazzmeia Horn won. In three years Swift has become one of the most popular jazz voices in New York. She is the guest on Green’s latest album, Then And Now (Sunnyside) and is about to release her own debut album.