A rising force on the jazz scene and an award-winning Origin Records recording artist, pianist and composer Danny Green has distinguished himself with his beautifully articulated touch and melodically charged sensibility. His Original compositions – a vivid blend of jazz, classical, and Brazilian elements – delights critics and audiences across the country and around the world.
Green’s talents have taken him from the Blue Note in New York City to the Blue Whale in Los Angeles, and his work has been featured in DownBeat Magazine, Jazziz, the San Diego Union Tribune, The Boston Globe, NPR, and JazzEd. 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.
The Danny Green Trio features the talents of upright and electric bassist Justin Grinnell and drummer Julien Cantelm. Since its formation in 2010, the trio has performed at notable venues, series, and festivals across the county, including the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest, Shapeshifter Lab (NYC), The Blue Whale (LA), Vibrato Jazz Grill (LA), The Lilypad (Cambridge), The Loft @ UCSD, KSDS KSDS Jazz 88.3’s Jazz Live, the Athenaeum Music and Arts Library (San Diego), CSU Summer Arts Monterey (residency), the Integrity Jazz festival in North Dakota, TEDxUCSD, The Sound Room (Oakland), Tula’s Jazz Club (Seattle), Jazz Live at Marine View Church (Tacoma), and the KSDS Jazz 88.3 Ocean Beach Jazz Festival. The trio was chosen to be a resident artist in the San Diego Museum of Art’s 2013 Summer Residency Project.
Green revealed his unique talents on his 2009 debut recording With You In Mind, which 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. That album 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.
In 2014, the Danny Green Trio, comprised of Green, Grinnell, and Cantelm, released the highly-acclaimed album After The Calm on OA2 Records. Featuring ten of Green’s compositions, the album received much praise from the press and nationwide radio play. JazzWax described the album as “A highly impressive album that will knock you out,” and the San Diego Troubadour called it, “Unconditionally recommended to anyone who appreciates good jazz, instrumental music or soundtracks.” After The Calm won “Best Jazz Album” at the 2015 San Diego Music Awards and was nominated for “Album of the Year.”
The trio recorded their 2016 release, Altered Narratives, at New York City’s famed Sear Sound recording studio with award-winning producer Matt Pierson. Released on OA2 Records, the album consists of eleven original compositions by Green. The three tunes at the center of the album feature the trio with a string quartet led by violinist Antoine Silverman, a widely admired New York classical and studio player. All About Jazz critic Dan McClenaghan commented, “There’s nothing that adds a touch of elegance to a jazz set more than an adeptly-done string arrangement, and these are superb; violins, viola and cello in a sinuous, sometimes whispering embrace with a vibrant, top-notch piano trio, delving into Danny Green’s distinguished compositions.” The album remained on the Jazz Week Top 50 chart for fourteen weeks and earned high praise from critics worldwide.
Since the release of Altered Narratives, Green has continued composing music for trio plus strings and performing it. The Danny Green Trio Plus Strings’s debut performance at New York City’s Shapeshifter Lab featured members of the New York based chamber ensemble, Hotel Elefant, along with special guest Chico Pinheiro on guitar. Other performances include a live radio broadcast on KSDS Jazz 88.3’s Jazz Live, featuring members of the San Diego Symphony, TEDxSan Diego, the Museum of Making Music, and the Western Arts Alliance Juried Showcase in Seattle. NBC San Diego reviewed their Jazz Live performance noting, “Green’s acuity for string writing and the seamless integration of the quartet and the improvising trio were nothing short of sterling.” The Danny Green Trio Plus Strings is currently in production on a new album, slated for release on Origin Records in April 2018.
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, teaches piano at Grossmont Community College, and presents a jazz appreciation workshop at elementary schools as part of the Athenaeum Music and Arts Library’s outreach program. Green directed the jazz ensemble at Coronado School of the Arts from 2014-2017, and was an artist in residence at Canyon Crest Academy and at CSU Summer Arts Monterey.