An inspired blend of jazz and classical sounds

  • Jazz and Strings Presents Saxophonist Jimmy Greene in Moving Tribute to Beloved Daughter

  • By Owen McNally • Nov 18, 2015 

  • Erica von Kleist played the music of Cannonball Adderley Friday in a tribute to the sax player. (Michael Regan / March 3, 2012)

    With lush string accompaniment, saxophonist/composer Jimmy Greene later this month presents music from his acclaimed 2014 album, Beautiful Life, his deeply moving, eloquent homage to the life of his beloved daughter, Ana Grace Marquez-Greene.

    She was murdered with 19 other children and six educators in the horrific mass shooting on December 14, 2012, at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

    Greene will perform selections from his life-affirming tribute to Ana, a gifted singer and dance-loving first-grader, along with other original works and arrangements, accompanied by the chamber ensemble, Jazz and Strings, on Sunday, November 29, at 7:30 pm at Hartford's Infinity Hall at 32 Front Street.

    In contrast with his recent a cappella solo performance at the Connecticut Composers Festival, Greene's rich inventions will be set in the full-bodied chamber textures of Jazz and Strings, a classically rooted, swing-ready unit tapped from the string section of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra (HSO).

    The string ensemble, which no longer presents its classic jazz and classical strings concerts under the aegis of the financially-stressed HSO, is directed by its founder and artistic director, percussionist and drummer Gene Bozzi.

    The concert marks the string ensemble's debut appearance at Infinity Hall, the welcoming state-of-the-art venue in downtown Hartford.

  • Erica von Kleist played the music of Cannonball Adderley Friday in a tribute to the sax player. (Michael Regan / March 3, 2012)

    Besides being principal timpanist for the HSO, Bozzi has performed with luminaries ranging from Emmanuel Ax to Dave Liebman, and is at home with anything from Bartok to bop, from swing to samba. Over recent years, Jazz and Strings has celebrated such canonized jazz-with-strings albums as Charlie Parker's groundbreaking recordings with strings and Stan Getz's famous string/swing fest, Focus, while featuring an impressive list of solo guest artists ranging from tenor saxophonist Joel Frahm to guitarist Mike Stern.

    Using the power of music and the glory of creation to bring light to his darkest despair, Greene has reflected not only on his family's heart and soul-wrenching loss of his daughter, but also on the indelibly joyful way that Ana, an angelic child who loved to sing and make people happy, lived so vibrantly and lovingly in her few short years.

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