Born: July 19, 1959 Primary Instrument: Reeds
Saxophonist, clarinetist, and flutist Chris Greco free lanced, recorded, explored small, medium, and large group formats and was a significant contributor to the jazz culture of Los Angeles during the 1980's and the 1990's. His jazz projects from this period can be found on his independent label Gwsfourwinds records.
Greco is a composer, performer, woodwinds player shaped by the influences of American jazz music, folk, rock, non-western and the western/European music traditions. He holds degrees in performance (D.M.A., UCLA) and composition (M.A.), and has explored and performed in experimental groups, and multiple jazz idioms regionally and abroad.
Equally comfortable performing both jazz and classical music Greco's improvisational skills equal with his ability to interpret and perform contemporary classical music. He has been developing a unique body of work over the past two decades that follows a path of discovery and accumulation.
His compositions in jazz, chamber music, and contemporary music combine a variety of stylistic materials and contemporary techniques. Also, some works are associated with philosophical ideas (The Flight Of A Bird Leaves No Trace- Pleiadian Call/Music for Trio), and literary ideas (Sterope-Trane of Thought). Taken from the liner notes of the project Pleiadian Call/Music for Trio he explains, the harmonic language eschews functional tonality for a more relevant and more vitally significant tonal/twelve tone synthesis.
Recognition for his work in composition include a 2001 Julius Hemphill Composition Award (The Flight Of A Bird Leaves No Trace, eleven consecutive ASCAPlus Awards (2002-2012) for his creative contributions to American music, and a recent Best Jazz of the year award from the Hollyywood Music in Media Awards 2012. Greco's recordings on gwsfourwinds include; Well You Needn't, Standards Vol. 1, the electro-acoustic compositions of Trane of Thought, and the chamber jazz of Pleiadian Call/Music for Trio.
In addition to institutional studies Greco studied woodwinds with Los Angeles professionals including the multi-instrumentalists William Green and Douglas Masek, and flautists Diane Allencraig and Gretel Shanley. Greco considers himself an autodidact as well; anyone seriously interested in studying music follows this line, because an excellent musician is one that, I believe, is ultimately self-guided by a compelling desire to learn and explore more, including the music of one's time as well as the music of the past.
Greco has experience as a producer with his independent label gwsfourwinds records. His music is available online at http://www.cdbaby.com/artist/ChrisGreco.
Reviews for releases on gwsfourwinds records can be found in the magazines; JazzTimes (U.S.), Jazz Hot (France), Jazz Journal International (U.K.), Cadence (U.S.); and online at allaboutjazz.com, jazzdimensions.com (Germany), wartajazz.com (Indonesia), euroclubdejazz.com (U.K.), amazon.com. LMNOP magazine, Critcial Jazz, and Fame magazine.
Greco is an associate professor at Benedictine College where he teaches music theory (coordinator), composition, orchestration, applied woodwinds, chamber ensembles, and History of Jazz.
Awards:International Song Contest 2013 Semi-Finalist - "Oliver"
Hollywood Music in Media Awards Finalist 2013 - "Oliver"
International Song Contest 2012 Semi-Finalist - "Messages"
Winner "Best Jazz" - Hollywood Music in Media Awards 2012 - "Maia"
ASCAP-Plus Awards 2002-2013
International Song Contest 2011 Semi-Finalist - "The Open Door"
Hollywood Music in Media Awards Finalist 2011 - "Merope"
Julius Hemphill Composition Award 2001 Finalist - "The Flight Of A Bird Leaves No Trace"
Greco plays with amazing fluidity and elan, several instruments, and in his compositions he has the superb ability to paint soundscapes. Pleiadian Call/Music for Trio- Max Babi, allaboutjazz.com (featured article)
A remarkable collection of original compositions from Chris Greco. Pleiadian Call/Music for Trio- Lee Prosser, jazzreview.com
Everything is perfect here. What I enjoyed the most about this brilliant CD is the perfect balance of rules, the many and carefully written passages, and the sheer improvisation. Pleiadian Call/Music for Trio- Domi Truffandier, Paris, France
Trane of Thought is highly original and thought-provoking; Greco switches between the various woodwind instruments with consummate ease and delivers nothing short of impeccable performances on each. Trane of Thought- W. Gillespie, euroclubdejazz.com
A wealth of compelling jazz sounds from the luxuriant to the exhilarating. Trane of Thought- Zan Stewart, LA Times
This newly conceived music with strong traditional roots is highly recommended. Trane of Thought- Derek Ansell, Jazz Journal International, U.K.
“Chris Greco, a modernist fashioned from Rollins/Shorter/Lovano with splashes of Trane and even the great Roland Kirk (especially on flute) embroidered around the edges, is a seasoned performer on every instrument.” Well You Needn’t/Standards Vol.1- J. Bowers, Cadence Magazine
“The Album WYNSV1, one of the earlier ventures of the amazingly talented Chris Greco, is a gem and a collectors item.” Well You Needn’t/Standards Vol.1- Max Babi, jazzreview.com
Pleiadian Call/Music for Trio
Well You Needn't/Standards Vol.1
Trane of Thought
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D.M.A., Performance (UCLA)
M.A., Composition (California State University, Los Angeles)
B.A., Music (California State University, Los Angeles)
Dr. Christopher J. Greco
Benedictine College/Music Department
1020 N. Second Street
Atchison, KS 66002
Office (913) 360-7599
Music theory, coordinator
Applied woodwinds studio
History of Jazz