Jesse Green is one of the most gifted and compelling musical artists of his generation, whose accomplishments are vast and varied. During the course of his still young career, he has not only recorded, performed and toured with many of the world’s greatest jazz entities (as a leader and sideman), but has also been the recipient of multiple international awards and honors. Artists with whom Jesse has recorded and/or performed include Freddie Hubbard, Phil Woods, Clark Terry, Marian McPartland (on NPR Piano Jazz Program), David Liebman, Stanley Turrentine, Hal Crook, Chris Potter, Gary Burton, Bobby Caldwell, Milt Jackson, Jimmy Heath, Al Cohn, Joe Cohn, Danny Walsh, Manny Album, David Liebman, Marvin Stamm, Urbie Green, Michael Moore, Bobby Durham, Joe Locke, Bill Goodwin, Steve LaSpina, Bruce Cox, John Lockwood, Alan Dawson, Flip Phillips, Dick Hyman, Peter Nero, Derek Smith, Gene Bertoncini, Lew Tabackin, Al Grey, Benny Carter, Dave Tofani, Jack Wilkins, John Patitucci, Jim Pugh, Eijiro Nakagawa, the XL Big Band, Bob Dorough, John Riley, David “Fathead” Newman, Jerry Harris, Kathy Green, Lew Del Gatto, Bobby Keller, Steve Smith, George Young, Warren Vache, Keyon Harrold, Rufus Reid, John Jensen, Bucky Pizzarelli, Mike Davis, Michael Leonhart, and many others. Jesse, son of famed trombonist Urbie Green and former big band singer Kathy Preston spent much of his time living in the Boston and New York areas and now resides in Delaware Water Gap, PA, in the heart of the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.
He began studying classical and jazz piano at age seven and, by age ten placed as a finalist in a nation-wide talent competition winning for his spit-fire piano rendition of Count Basie’s Jumping at the Woodside. At about the same time, he took up the trombone as well, and joined his 5th grade concert band. By High School, his numerous accomplishments included District Concert Band, Regional Concert Band, All-State Jazz Ensemble, Fred Waring’s U.S. Chorus, National Honors Jazz Band, District Chorus Instrument Ensemble, and the John Philip Sousa Memorial Concert Band…all on trombone.
During his junior year in high school, he became a member of the East Stroudsburg University Jazz Ensemble. He was piano accompanist for District Chorus as well as the high school chorus, and, for five consecutive years, he was pianist for the Celebration of the Arts “COTA CATS” (a big band founded by Grammy Award winner Phil Woods). Famous guest artists with the “COTA CATS” included David Liebman, Manny Album, Al Cohn, Hal Crook, Urbie Green, and Phil Woods. The band, directed by Pat Dorian, appears each year at the COTA Jazz Festival in Delaware Water Gap, PA.
As a student at East Stroudsburg University, Jesse played trombone in the Concert Band and Brass Ensemble, and piano in the Jazz Ensemble. Notable artists that Jesse has performed with in the Jazz Ensemble include Clark Terry, Lew Tabackin, Freddie Hubbard, Al Grey, Urbie Green, Phil Woods, David Liebman, Benny Carter, and Jimmy Heath. As a trombonist, Jesse was selected two years in a row for the Inter-Collegiate Concert Band.
Among the awards Jesse has received are scholarships to Clark Terry’s Jazz Camp, The Celebration of the Arts Commission, East Stroudsburg University Music Department, and a full scholarship to Berklee College of Music. At age 17, Jesse won the National Downbeat Student Award for “best extended composition and arrangement” with his original “Half & Half”. He has since written many other arrangements for big band as well as small groups. “Blues for Dad”, written for his father, was performed by the “COTA CATS” at the 1989 COTA Jazz Festival.
In 1992, Jesse recorded his debut CD “LIFT OFF” for Chiaroscuro Records with Paul Rostock on bass, Bobby Durham on drums, and featured guest Joe Cohn on guitar. With his own trio, he has appeared at the famous Deer Head Inn in Delaware Water Gap, PA, the Hillside Inn Jazz Lounge, River Street Jazz Cafe, and Blues Street Jazz Club…all Pocono area jazz clubs. He has accompanied a wide range of vocalists and played many of the Pocono resorts.
In May of 1995, Jesse appeared with the Urbie Green Quintet on the Royal Caribbean “Majesty of the Seas”. This was a special honor for Jesse in that the jazz cruise was dedicated to his idol, Oscar Peterson, who performed with his trio as well. On this cruise, Chiaroscuro did a live recording of the Urbie Green Quintet, and the CD SEA JAM BLUES was released in 1997.
In June of 1995, Jesse’s second CD, “SEA JOURNEY” was released, also by Chiaroscuro Records. This was a live recording on the S.S. Norway and included Jackie Williams on drums, Michael Moore on bass and distinguished guest Gary Burton on vibes. The “Floating Jazz Festival” as it is called, was dedicated that year to singer Joe Williams.
Jesse has also appeared at Sculler’s Jazz Club in Cambridge, MA, along with John Lockwood on bass and Alan Dawson on drums, and at the prestigious Jazz at the Y series in New York’s 92nd Street Y. In August of 1996, Jesse headlined at Zinno’s in New York with his father, Urbie, as a special guest. He has performed at the Main Street Jazz Festival in Columbia, SC, and can be seen on a video of the festival which airs periodically on PBS. He has also appeared at the 1999 Indy Jazz Fest.
In July 2000, Jesse performed at the United States Day in the United Kingdom’s Millennium Dome as a member of a U.S. delegation presented by the White House Millennium Council.
Further accomplishments include two semi-finalist placements in the First Biennial Jazz Piano Competition in Indianapolis, IN, and the Annual International Jazz Piano Competition in Jacksonville, FL.
In 2009, Jesse was asked to play piano in the Bobby Caldwell Big Band and Bobby Caldwell R&B Band. They performed a week at Birdland, NYC and Nikko’s in San Francisco. Most recently Jesse was asked to appear on Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz, where he was interviewed and performed with Marian, Glenn Davis (drums) and Martin Wind (bass).
Currently, Jesse still records and performs regularly as a freelance artist as well as with his group consisting of Joe Cohn on guitar and Danny Walsh on tenor / alto saxophone. Along with many performances and advances in his career, Jesse stays busy donating much of his time to supporting the arts and music in the Pocono community. He remains extremely involved in teaching music (advanced jazz theory, harmony and ear training) composing and arranging, multi-media via computers and software, and sound engineering.