Guess the folks around Reading, Pa, knew something special was going on in the Hatza residence. 4 year-old Greg was plunking out Blues and Boogie Woogie on the piano with no training. At 5, he was full-blown piano driven - and became obsessed with the organ (oh, Hammond loves to hear this!)
Greg had seen the acts from Philly and Delaware play at the Grand Hotel in Reading and was truly impressed. He learned so quickly and so intently that he was a pro at 16, playing with the Franklin Scott Trio. The great Lenny Moore (Baltimore Colt::) saw Greg play one night and asked him to come to his club in Charm City. For four years, Greg played there and mingled with greats: Groove Holmes, Philly Joe Jones, Roland Kirk, Les McCann, James Moody - and the man who would become another mentor (besides Lenny) - Jimmy Smith, Greg's idol.
There were two albums in the 60's on a label that was a subsidiary of MCA and life was good for Hatza and his Hammond. But the 70's saw a switching of the gears, so Greg did - and immersed himself in electric keyboard. And found work in Country, R & B and in Fusion - check out Greg's group, Moon August. If you think he's versatile NOW, wait...
In 1974, Greg began his studies on the tabla, then sitar. In 1994, he saw Joey DeFrancesco - and Joey told him that he felt the organ was undergoing a resurgence of popularity - so Greg resumed playing out. But he also continued his studies of world instrumentation...and picked up the classical Chinese erhu - a two-stringed fiddle!
Education at the Peabody Conservatory...a Masters at Towson State University...music theory, piano composition, and Jazz clinics. Greg has been BUSY - and will wow the crowd at Gerald Veasley's "Jazz Base" at the Crowne Plaza in Reading - this Thursday at Berks Jazz Fest!
Join us tomorrow on Hybrid Jazz!
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