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Hybrid Jazz From Trish Hennessey - with Greg Hatza!

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Trish Hennessey

Trish Hennessey

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It's always to heartwarming to hear about the support from loving parents.  Greg Hatza had them :)  When he was four, he was enthralled with the Blues and Jazz wraparound sound of R & B.  Actually, he couldn't help it.  His Dad owned a small restaurant in central Pennsylvania - with a jukebox.  Do I have to finish this story?  LOL!  On that box, dozens of great songs that stuck in little Greg's head - and emerged via his fingers on piano.  His Mom was excited enough to get a teacher for him.  Dad knew enough to GIVE him the extra records from the restaurant's box.  Whew, both Mom & Dad?  Good move!

Digging the legends that he heard in those formative years, Greg bought his first Hammond B-3 at age 14.  Soon, he was playing in bands within the region.  One of those venues was the Grand Hotel.  Lenny Moore, from the then Baltimore Colts, visited one night and heard Greg wail on his beloved instrument.  Lenny invited him to play at a new club that he was opening in Charm City.  Not only that, but Lenny became Greg's manager!

It was at that popular club that Greg got to meet Jazz royalty - he jammed with everyone from Kenny Burrell to Sonny Still - and all the letters in-between :)  And he was mentored by his idol, Jimmy Smith.  Baltimore REALLY appreciated what Greg had to offer.  And he blossomed.  His group, Moon August, won accolades and became cultural ambassadors for the city (the 80's were good to Greg!).  He learned to play tabla, sitar and - fascinated by ethnic music and how it related to what he already knew.  He toured internationally.  And met Joey DeFrancesco in 1994 - who told him to renew his commitment to the Hammond.

Which is why Greg's a guest on 1/24/17 :)  WAIT until you hear "Diggin' Up My Roots!"  The Master Returns!

 

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