Jimmy Greene receives Governor's Arts Award
Western assistant professor of music honored at June ceremony in New Haven
Jazz artist and Western Connecticut State University professor Jimmy Greene received the Governor's Arts Award at a presentation ceremony and concert on June 15, during the International Festival for Arts and Ideas in New Haven.
Greene, an assistant professor of music and assistant coordinator of jazz studies at WCSU, led a performance by the Jimmy Greene Quartet featuring Kenny Barron on piano, Lewis Nash on drums and John Patitucci on bass. Soul and rhythm-and-blues singer Aaron Neville, renowned for his unique vocal stylings inspired by his New Orleans musical heritage, performed a program of classic doo-wop pieces in the headline act of the concert.
The Governor’s Arts Awards recognize outstanding service to the arts in Connecticut. Founded 35 years ago, the program has honored more than 140 recipients including professionals in the performing and visual arts, educators, businesses and arts organizations. Greene and other 2013 recipients of the award discussed their work and commitment to artistic development in Connecticut as participants in a panel discussion at the Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven.
“I am supremely honored to receive the Governor’s Arts Award for 2013, and grateful to Governor (Dannel) Malloy and the Connecticut Office of the Arts for bestowing this prestigious honor upon me,” Greene said. “Reviewing the list of past recipients is quite humbling, indeed. I am blessed to have learned at the feet of such giants of the arts in Connecticut and to have lived most of my life here. There is a vibrant, inspirational community of musicians and artists here in Connecticut, and I am proud to be a small part of it.”
Greene is a Hartford area native who attended Bloomfield High School, the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts and the Artists Collective. He graduated summa cum laude with a music degree from the Hartt School of the University of Hartford. Since his debut in 1997 on the New York jazz scene, he has gained a reputation as a prolific recording artist, leading sideman, widely traveled concert performer and innovative composer of jazz scores.
Named in 1999 as one of Down Beat magazine’s “25 Young Rising Stars in Jazz,” he has released a series of critically acclaimed albums and received numerous honors including the commission to compose and perform “Anthem of Hope” in honor of jazz legend Ornette Coleman. In April, Greene brought together an array of leading jazz artists to participate in the opening 2013 WCSU Jazz Fest concert.
Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.