|Banaszak outside the National |
Performing Arts Center in Mumbai
"This was the first time the country featured a saxophonist and was exposed to both the classical and jazz sides of the instrument," Banaszak explains. "It was a humbling, happy, extraordinary experience." The August performances presented works for saxophone on the first half of the program and the celebrated "Bird with Strings repertoire!," paying tribute to jazz icon Charlie Parker, on the second half.
Meantime, enthusiastic reviews are in for Banaszak's latest CD with Maestro Gerard Schwarz on Naxos records. A reviewer for Gramophone wrote, “The highlight is Hovhaness’s Saxophone Concerto, in which Greg Banaszak milks the tone and timbre of his unaccountably neglected solo instrument in an irresistible series of romantic episodes.”
Fanfare praised, “The saxophone concerto is…delivered with just the right lilting rhythms by the excellent Greg Banaszak,” and American Record Guide raved,"...it is hard to imagine any player anywhere with more beautiful tone than Greg Banaszak."
In an interview with Vandoren, Banaszak said "this recording experience was really exceptional, to say the least. Having the honor to work with Maestro Gerard Schwarz, one of America’s finest conductors, was beyond words. He has almost three hundred recordings to his name and he knows exactly what he wants and expects out of all the musicians under his baton--soloist included."