This article serves as the show notes for this week’s podcast interview with Greg Banaszak.
Greg Banaszak is a rare breed of saxophonist indeed. First off, let’s start with his status as, literally, one of the most esteemed classical saxophonists walking the planet at this time. The New York Times refers to him as “A Saxophone Tour De Force.”
He’s played in front of orchestras and at some of the most prestigious concert halls throughout the world. Mr. Banaszak has appeared as concerto soloist and recitalist throughout the United States, Eastern and Western Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. He’s presented masterclasses at Austria’s Musik Hochschule, the Cairo Conservatory, Oberlin Conservatory, and the Tanglewood Institute.
In addition, Greg was the first saxophone concerto soloist to appear with orchestras in both the Middle East and Korea, including performances with the Cairo Symphony and the Taegu City Symphony.
As truly impressive as all of this is, perhaps most impressive is Greg’s rare ability to have achieved professional success as a jazz saxophonist as well. Entrusted to fill some of the biggest shoes in jazz history, Greg recently took on the role of Charlie Parker in a recreation of the seminal album “Bird with Stings” – the strings being the Cleveland Pops Orchestra.
This introduction here only scratches the surface of what Greg has accomplished, so for more information, you’ll have to visit his website to get the full scoop.
For the recording of I’ll Remember April, Greg played on the Charlie Parker “Bird” Legend Series Alto
Saxophone Mouthpiece – a virtually identical replica of Charlie Parker’s Brillhart mouthpiece based on the original as obtained by RS Berkeley.