Pianist and composer Danny Green has garnered a reputation in the jazz community as an emerging artist whose music sounds simultaneously seasoned and fresh. Showcasing a brilliant blend of jazz, Brazilian, Latin, and classical elements, Green’s music engages listeners with evocative melodies and infectious rhythms. According to JazzReview.com, “Danny Green is what evolution in jazz is all about, expressing the traits of those that came before him, with a style and panache that is all his own…an individual who expresses what is inside of him.”
A Southern California native, Green began studying classical piano at the age of five. His passion for music was apparent early on — his parents had to pull him away from the piano at his first recital. As they tugged him by his right hand, he continued playing with his left hand. At the age of twelve, Green grew disenchanted with reading music and quit lessons. He taught himself to play by ear and spent the next two years only playing Nirvana. Toward the end of high school, he fell in love with Afro Cuban music, which led to his discovery of Brazilian music and eventually jazz.
Green resumed his formal training at UC San Diego, where he studied jazz piano with Grammy-winning producer Kamau Kenyatta and classical piano with John Mark Harris and Luciane Cardassi. He performed the first jazz honors recital at UCSD and received the Jimmy Cheatham Jazz Award. Green continued his education by pursuing a Master’s degree in Jazz Studies at San Diego State University, where he studied jazz piano with Rick Helzer. He was awarded several scholarships and named “Outstanding Graduate.” In 2013, Green was honored as an “Alumni to Watch” from SDSU’s School of Music and Dance.
Hailed as “one of the important up-and-comers on the scene today” by All About Jazz, Green is one of the most prolific and talented jazz pianists in the San Diego area. Maintaining a busy performance schedule as leader of the Danny Green Trio, Green has performed at notable venues, series, and festivals including KSDS Jazz 88.3’s Jazz Live, the Athenaeum Music and Arts Library, CSU Summer Arts Monterey, Anthology, The Loft @ UCSD, the Oceanside Museum of Art, Steamer’s Jazz Club, the San Diego Museum of Art’s Summer Residency Project, the Integrity Jazz festival in North Dakota, TEDxUCSD, and the KSDS Jazz 88.3 Ocean Beach Jazz Festival.
Green revealed his unique talents on his 2009 debut recording With You In Mind. The album received extensive airplay around the globe, rose to #18 on the Jazz Week Charts, and won “Best Jazz Album” at the 2009 San Diego Music Awards. In 2012, Green teamed up with Tapestry Records to release A Thousand Ways Home, featuring Justin Grinnell on bass, Julien Cantelm on drums, and Tripp Sprague on sax, as well as a talented cast of guest artists inducing guitarists Chico Pinheiro, Peter Sprague, and Dusty Brough, Brazilian vocalist Claudia Villela, and mandolinist Eva Scow. A Thousand Ways Home received numerous rave reviews nationwide, rose to #17 on the Jazz Week Charts, was voted into KSDS Jazz 88.3’s “Top Ten Jazz Releases of 2012,” and was nominated “Best Jazz Album” at the 2013 San Diego Music Awards.
The Danny Green Trio, comprised of Green, Grinnell, and Cantelm, is currently in production on a new album entitled After The Calm. Featuring ten of Green’s latest compositions, the album is slated for release on OA2 Records in November 2014.
Green is also highly devoted to music education. In addition to teaching private lessons, he is a faculty member of the annual Jazz 88.3 Summer Jazz Workshop, directs the jazz combo at Coronado School of the Arts, and presents a jazz appreciation workshop at elementary schools as part of the Athenaeum Music and Arts Library’s outreach program. Green has also taught piano courses at Grossmont Community College and San Diego City College, and has been an artist in residence at Canyon Crest Academy and at CSU Summer Arts Monterey.