Benny Green (pianist)

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Benny Green
Benny Green (pianist).jpg
Photo by John Dugan
Background information
Born (1963-04-04) April 4, 1963 (age 55)
New York City, New York, U.S.
LabelsCriss Cross, Blue Note, Telarc, Sunnyside
Associated actsArt Blakey's Jazz Messengers

Benny Green (born April 4, 1963) is an American hard bop jazz pianist who was a member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. He has been compared to Bud Powell and Oscar Peterson in style and counts them as influences.[1]


Green was born in New York City. He grew up in Berkeley, California, and studied classical piano from the age of seven. He also had an interest in jazz from an early point, as his father was a jazz tenor saxophone player. Benny Green was "discovered" by Faye Carroll, and while still in his teens worked in a quintet led by Eddie Henderson. Green attended Berkeley High School, and participated in the school's jazz ensemble. In the later years of his high school career, he had a weekly trio gig at Yoshi's, which marked his entrance to the world of professional jazz. After high school he spent time in San Francisco, but became more successful on his return to New York.[2][3]

Green joined Betty Carter's band in April, 1983, and since 1991 he has led his own trio. He has recorded for Blue Note Records, Telarc, and Criss Cross Jazz.

Green frequently teaches in workshops across the United States, such as Jazz Camp West in California, and Centrum/Jazz Port Townsend in Washington. He currently resides in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and is on faculty at the University of Michigan.[4]


As leader[edit]

  • In This Direction (Criss Cross, 1988)
  • Prelude (Criss Cross, 1988)
  • Lineage (Blue Note, 1990)
  • Greens (Blue Note, 1991)
  • That's Right! (Blue Note, 1992)
  • Testifyin'!: Live at the Village Vanguard (Blue Note, 1992)
  • The Place to Be (Blue Note, 1994)
  • Kaleidoscope (Blue Note, 1997)
  • Oscar and Benny (Telarc, 1998)
  • These Are Soulful Days (Blue Note, 1999)
  • Naturally (Telarc, 2000)
  • Green's Blues (Telarc, 2001)
  • Jazz at the Bistro (Telarc, 2003)
  • Bluebird (Telarc, 2004)
  • Source (Jazz Legacy, 2011)
  • Magic Beans (Sunnyside, 2013)
  • Live In Santa Cruz! (Sunnyside, 2015)
  • Happiness! Live at Kuumbwa (Sunnyside, 2017)
  • Then and Now (Sunnyside, 2018)

As sideman[edit]

With Art Blakey

With Bob Belden

  • Straight to My Heart: The Music of Sting (1989)
  • When the Doves Cry: The Music of Prince (1993)

With Don Braden

  • Quintet Time Is Now (1991)
  • Wish List (1991)

With Cecil Brooks III

With Ray Brown

  • Bass Face (1993)
  • Dont Get Sassy (1994)
  • Some of My Best Friends Are... (1994)
  • Some of My Best Friends Are... (1995)
  • Seven Steps to Heaven (1995)
  • Live at Scullers Jazz Club (1996)
  • Super Bass (1997)
  • Triple Play (1998)
  • Walk On (2003)

With Arnett Cobb

  • Tenor Tribute, Vol. 1 (1988)
  • Tenor Tribute, Vol. 2 (1988)

With Freddie Hubbard

With Etta Jones

With Ralph Moore

  • Round Trip (1985)
  • Images (1988)
  • Furthermore (1990)
  • Who It is You Are (1993)

With Houston Person

  • Lion and His Pride (1991)
  • Christmas with Houston Person and... (1994)
  • Little Houston on the Side (1999)
  • Santa Baby

With Jimmy Ponder

  • Soul Eyes (1991)
  • Steel City Soul (1998)

With Jim Snidero

  • Mixed Bag (1987)
  • Blue Afternoon (1989)
  • While You Were Here (1991)

With Lew Tabackin

  • Ill Be Seeing You (1992)
  • What a Little Moonlight Can Do (1994)

With Jack Walrath

With others


  1. ^ Scheinin, Richard (25 June 2013). "Review: Pianist Benny Green delivers sheer jazz joy – The Mercury News". San Jose Mercury. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
  2. ^ "Bio". 22 August 2012. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  3. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Benny Green | Biography & History | AllMusic". AllMusic.
  4. ^ "UM School of Music, Theatre & Dance - Faculty & Staff Biography". Retrieved 12 February 2015.

External links[edit]