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Urban Green

August 8, 1926 December 31, 2018
Urban Green
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Obituary for Urban Green

Jazz trombone virtuoso, Urban Clifford “Urbie” Green, 92, passed away
on Monday December 31, 2018 at Saucon Valley Manor, Hellertown,
Pennsylvania. He was the loving husband of actress and singer
Catherine "Kathy" (Prestigiacomo) Green. Born August 8, 1926, in Mobile,
Alabama, the son of the late Robert Eugene and Aurora (Blanche) Green,
Urbie is known as the “trombonist’s trombonist” and is considered to
be among the elite of the world’s trombone players due to not only his
mastery of the instrument, including his smooth, warm, mellow tone,
but also his lyrical phrasing and beautiful solos.

By the time he was sixteen, he was working professionally with Tommy
Reynolds' band. Then followed years touring with big bands led by Jan
Savitt, Frankie Carle, Gene Krupa, and Woody Herman. In October 1950,
Urbie became part of Herman’s Thundering Herd, and in 1954 won the
Down Beat International Critics Award for "New Star".

Urbie became one of the most sought-after trombonists for recording
and club work in New York City. He has recorded with Gene Krupa, Woody
Herman, Benny Goodman, Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Leonard
Bernstein, Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Tony Bennett, Peggy Lee,
Pearl Bailey, Ella Fitzgerald, Mile Davis, Charlie Parker, Coleman
Hawkins, Dizzy Gillespie, Barbara Streisand, Perry Como, Aretha
Franklin, Quincy Jones, J.J.Johnson, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Burt Bacharach, Buck Clayton and Herbie Mann.

He is a multiple winner of the Most Valuable Player Award from the
National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. In addition, he performed at major jazz
festivals (including the annual Celebration of the Arts (COTA) in Delaware Water Gap, PA), as well as concert halls and the White House. In a performance at Lincoln Center with an all-star
band led by Benny Carter, he was invited to perform in a special tribute to Ella
Fitzgerald, and later in Thailand, with the Benny Carter all-stars, in a
private performance for the King of Thailand. He also placed high
importance on enriching the music community through countless clinics for
students at high schools and colleges throughout the world.

As part of his solo career, Urbie recorded over 25 original albums
from the early 50's to the late 90's, including classics such as
"Blues and Other Shades of Green" (1955 - Paramount), "Let's Face the
Music and Dance" (1957 - RCA), "The Persuasive Trombone of Urbie
Green" (1960 - Command), "21 Trombones" (1967 - Project 3), "Urbie
Green's Big Beautiful Band" (1974 - Project 3), and "The Fox" (1976 -
CTI).

Some of his popular recordings include "Here's That Rainy Day", "Stars
Fell on Alabama", "Let's Face the Music and Dance", "The Flight of the
Bumble Bee", "Bein' Green", "Blue Flame", "You Are So Beautiful",
"Quadrabones", "Another Star", "Sing", "Perdido", "St. Louis Blues",
"Stardust", "Ave Maria", and "Ana Luiza".

Urbie can be seen and heard in the movie “The Benny Goodman Story” (1956 -
Universal) starring Steve Allen and Donna Reed. Shortly afterwards
he fronted the Benny Goodman Orchestra for a three month tour. In 1995 he
was elected into the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame.

Urbie is survived by his wife Catherine (Kathy) and their sons Jesse and
Casey, as well as Jim, Urbie's son from his first marriage. Other
survivors include his sister Beverly (Pat) Simpson and several
grandchildren.

A private funeral service will be held on Sunday, January 20, 2019 at Bensing-Thomas
Funeral Home, 401 North 5th Street, Stroudsburg. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the
Bensing-Thomas Funeral Home.


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