Jonathan Greenstein
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Jonathan Greenstein

New York City, New York, United States

New York City, New York, United States
Band Jazz

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Music

Press


"Agenda"

"Self-Confident in a good sense, focused and razor sharp... Pure Impressionism... Strong, Redman-like playing of the ever growing kind with a breath taking ending..." - Amir M


"The Sideman Blog"

"his compositions grab the ear in the first listen. His style is modern, contemporary and very energetic... {He} Roars with the saxophone to the other end of the club, turning on the audience and his fellow musicians..." - Yair Spiegel


Discography

More Info TBA. Debut album to be released Mid-2010

Photos

Bio

"Self-Confident in a good sense, focused and razor sharp... Pure Impressionism... Strong, Redman-like playing of the ever growing kind with a breath taking ending..." - Amir m. for Agenda

"his compositions grab the ear in the first listen. His style is modern, contemporary and very energetic... {He} Roars with the saxophone to the other end of the club, turning on the audience and his fellow musicians..." - Yair Spiegel for the sideman Blog.

Just as Hard-Bop brought soul and melody to the innovations of the Bebop movement, Jonathan Greenstein’s music does the same for 21st century jazz. Combine that with a wide range of influences, from 20th century Classical music to Neo-Soul, and an ever-growing respect to the Jazz tradition and you get what’s Jonathan’s music is all about. His recent recording presents these concepts in the best possible way- High level, sophisticated and soulful playing.

Born in Tel-Aviv, Israel, Jonathan grew up in an art loving family. He started playing at an early age, but it wasn’t till 10 days before high school started that he decided to transfer to a high school that offered a music program. “I was never really happy with the decision I made, and just before it was too late I said to myself, you have to do this”- he explains. It was in the A for the arts high school that he was given his Jazz foundation, studying with Israel’s top Jazzmen. Taking example from his grandfather, an actor and director who started working in his teens, Jonathan had his debut performance right after turning 18, in the Ha’Gada Ha’Smalit club in Tel-Aviv. The place was packed. When it was time to be drafted to the army, Jonathan was accepted to the IDF Military Band, being the only Tenor player selected that year. “It was a great experience, but I didn’t like it at first and almost stopped playing”. His first of several performances at the Red Sea Jazz Fest, and a random encounter with an old saxophone changed his mind. “I realized in that festival that I really love playing and that there’s nothing I can do about it. Then, when I saw that horn, I just had to get it. I play different when I hold that horn. More like Myself”.

During his last year of army service, Jonathan was awarded the Presidential Scholarship to the Rimon of School of Jazz and Contemporary Music. “Amikam Kimelman really believed in me. I owe him a lot”. There, he had a chance to broaden his horizons, and expand his knowledge of the Jazz language. “After studying with Eli Degibri, Erez Barnoy and Omer Avital, It was an amazing experience studying with the guys who used to be their teachers”. Graduating in only one year, Jonathan received a scholarship to attend the Berklee College of Music in Boston, which brought him to the states. During his time there Jonathan has studied with the best- George Garzone, Hal Crook, Darren Barrett, Joe Lovano, Danilo Perez and Bill Pierce to name a few. He also traveled for the college, representing it around the states in different clubs and venues.

All this studying doesn’t mean Jonathan wasn’t professionally playing. He played in venues such as the Blue-Note NYC, Boston's Hard Rock Café , Ryles, the Fat Cat, Small’s, HR-57, Zappa, Levontin 7 and many more, as well as playing in all of Israel’s major festivals- the Red Sea Jazz Fest, The Tel-Aviv Jazz Fest, the Israel Fest, the Women’s Festival and more. He had played with many great musicians, some of which are- Avishai Cohen, Amos Hoffman, Ralph Peterson, Judi Silvano, Myron Walden and famous Israli Pop singers such as Yehoram Ga’on, Margalit Tsan’ani and David D’or to name a few. All this playing created a nice following for his shows and music.
Soon to be graduating with honors, Jonathan explains the impact Berklee had on his music- “The College gave me the finesse I was looking for. It made me grow up, take the full commitment to whatever I play. And most important, I met my best friends there”.

These best friends just also happen to be his band. Together they have just recently recorded Jonathan’s debut album. The band features Ilan Bar-Lavi on Guitar, Victor Gould on Piano, Dan Carpel on Bass and Jeff Fajardo on Drums. Darren Barrett honored them with his presence on a few tracks as well. Interestingly enough, all these musicians were headlining gigs at Wally’s Jazz café, a world famous Jazz club located in Boston. “I remember going to Wally’s on Saturdays and listen to these guys play there. They just kept getting better and better. When Ilan gave me the gig, it was like a dream come true in a sense”. The wally’s veterans all got together last may, drove to Wellspring studios in Acton, MA, and started hitting. Hitting hard that is.

“I never felt my music is Israeli in the Mediterranean sense. It’s not really the culture I grew into. I try to give another perspective, of what it is to be a Tel-Avivian”. Being Israel’s New York City, his hometown experiences might explain Jonathan eclectic influences. “Another reas