picture of Greg Hatza
Greg Hatza
A native of Reading, Pennsylvania, Greg Hatza's musical instincts came to him as early and as naturally as the ability to walk, and he was picking out blues and boogie woogie tunes on the piano around age four before starting formal lessons shortly thereafter. 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. His first professional gig on the instrument came when he was 16, with the Frankie Scott Trio, where he played around small towns in central Pennsylvania.
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. It was at the Grand that Baltimore Colts football great and jazz fan Lenny Moore asked the teenager to perform at a club he was opening in Baltimore. Moore became Greg's manager, and Baltimore became Greg's home.
It was here that Greg really got a chance to hone his jazz organ skills by playing with the best musicians in town. Also, Lenny's club was a great stopping point for a lot of the national jazz artists who came to Baltimore to perform. It was here that Greg met his mentor Jimmy Smith. He also met, and got to play in jam sessions, with such personalities as Kenny Burrell, Groove Holmes, Damita Joe, Philly Joe Jones, Roland Kirk, Les McCann, James Moody, and Sonny Stitt.
Later, Greg adapted to the trend of switching to the electric keyboard and piano, which he played in different be-bop groups and as a member of his contemporary fusion band Moon August. Moon August achieved much local success. In 1974, Greg began to study tabla, and later sitar.
Greg later performed ragas on piano, in concert with Hamid, in the US, India, and Bangladesh. In 1986, he won first place on tabla in the annual "All Indian Music Competition" held at UMBC in Maryland. In 1996, Greg started to study Chinese classical music on the erhu, a two stringed Chinese fiddle, under a Shanghai instructor, Liang Shan Tang. Finally complementing his club smarts with formal education, Greg received a degree in composition from the Peabody Conservatory, and a Master's from Baltimore's Towson State University, where he taught jazz, piano composition, improvisation and music theory for many years.
Also while at Towson, Greg initiated and organized a series of jazz concerts. He performed with artists such as David Liebman, John Abercrombie, John Scofield, Dennis Chambers, and Dave Samuels. Greg also participated in many jazz clinics throughout the Midwest with Stan Kenton, and later performed with the Towson Jazz Faculty Quartet in St. Petersburg, Russia.
In 1994, Joey DeFrancesco met Greg and told him the instrument was indeed enjoying a popular renaissance. Greg immediately got busy putting together his new ORGANization.
(excerpts from Greg's homepage, by kind permission of Greg)
contact: hatza@earthlink.net
homepage: www.greghatza.com
on tour Click on the logo to see Greg's tour dates.


The Wizardry Of Greg Hatza
Coral CRL 757493
recorded 1966 in New York/USA
Greg Hatza, Hammond B-3 organ
Eric Gale, guitar
Grady tate, drums
Organized Jazz
Coral CRL 757495
recorded 1967 in New York/USA
Greg Hatza, Hammond B-3 organ
Eric Gale, guitar
Grady tate, drums
The Greg Hatza Organization
Palmetto PM 2012
recorded 1995 in USA
Greg Hatza, Hammond B-3 organ
Major Boyd, soprano sax
Jim Snidero, alto sax
Paul Bollenback, guitar
Gary Jenkins, drums
In My Pocket
Palmetto PM 2019
recorded March 1996 in USA
Greg Hatza, Hammond B-3 organ
Ralph Lalama, tenor saxophone
Paul Bollenback, guitar
Gary Jenkins, drums
Snake Eyes
Palmetto PM 2035
recorded December 1997 in USA
Greg Hatza, Hammond B-3 organ
Ralph Lalama, tenor saxophone
Paul Bollenback, guitar
Dennis Chambers, drums
To A New Place
I-Ching IC 2008
recorded 2001 in USA
Greg Hatza, Hammond B-3 organ
Peter Fraize, tenor sax, soprano sax
Michael Pavone, guitar
Marty Morrison, drums
Robert Dupree, percussions
A Minor Thing
no label
recorded 2014 in USA
Brian Kooken, guitar
Greg Hatza, Hammond B-3 organ
Sam King, alto sax
Robert Shahid, drums
Diggin Up My Roots
Flip Records
recorded 2016 in USA
Greg Hatza, Nord organ
Brian Kooken, guitar
Robert Shahid, drums
Peter Fraize, sax

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