Grammy-nominated saxophonist Jimmy Greene brought sounds of fatherhood to the New Haven Green on Father’s Day — a particular brand of fatherhood forged in the crucible of unimaginable loss.
Greene has spoken of that loss — of his 6-year-old daughter in the Newtown school massacre — in two albums, Beautiful Life and the new Beautiful Life, Volume 2.
He brought that music to the main stage of the New Haven Green Sunday night as his quartet (Greene plus a drummer, pianist, and upright bassist) appeared with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra as headliners of an International Festival of Arts & Ideas concert.
Click on the following video to hear what he had to say:
Greene said performing helps him channel his emotions since the tragic loss of his daughter.
“There’s no place I’d rather be on Father’s Day than performing in New Haven,” he said.
A relaxing vibe swept the diverse crowd gathered on the Green for the show. Everyone seemed to be just sitting back and watching this man expertly do his craft, weaving together each distinct piece into a single coherent message.
Faithful outdoor concert attendee Eric Triffin (pictured) said Griffin’s playing “appeals to the roots of New Haven. The festival makes the world a smaller place. It’s good to see the magic of music.”
City economic development chief Matthew Nemerson, who was also in attendance, suggested that “people don’t realize we have one of the best symphonies in the world.” Nemerson (at right in above photo with city Office of Legislative Services Director Al Lucas) went on to say that “great Symphonies distinguish great cities. It feels good to be able to check off great symphony on our checklist.”