Greg Hatza ORGANization
Kicking off a month of jazz organ, Greg Hatza is a local master who lays down a seriously thick organ groove.
A native of Reading, Pennsylvania, now residing locally, Greg Hatza’s musical instincts came to him as early and as naturally as the ability to walk. Before he took formal lessons, he was 4-years-old when he started picking out blues and boogie woogie tunes on the piano. The Hammond B-3 became his life’s obsession as a teenager, when a friend turned him on to records by Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff, Ray Charles, and Johnny Hammond Smith
Because there were no jazz organ instructors at the time, Greg was largely self-taught, picking up most of his insider knowledge from the organ players at jam sessions at a local club called the Grand Hotel here in Baltimore. Baltimore Colts football great and jazz fan Lenny Moore met Greg at the Grand and asked the teenager to perform at a club he was opening in Baltimore. Moore became Greg’s manager and Baltimore became Greg’s home. The organist played at the club for four years and was something of a young jazz lion himself, recording two albums for MCA subsidiary label Coral Records, The Wizardry of Greg Hatza and Organized Jazz.
In the late sixties, Baltimore was still an organ town and had its share of great players. It was here that Greg really got a chance to hone his jazz organ skills by playing with the best musicians in town. Lenny’s club was a great stopping point for national jazz artists who came to Baltimore to perform. It was here that Greg met his mentor Jimmy Smith and got to play with him. Smith later advised Greg on his soon to be recorded albums.
Greg currently serves as the Choir and Music Director at St. Gregory the Great Church in Baltimore. This will be the formal release party for the Greg Hatza ORGANization newest recording “Digging Up My Roots.”
8pm | $20, $17 mbrs | + $3 at the door
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