Kenneth Howard Greene, 70, a retired manager for The Buffalo News and a prominent jazz musician here in the 1950s and '60s, died Tuesday (Aug. 31, 1999) in Buffalo General Hospital after a long illness.
Born in Buffalo, he was a graduate of Burgard Vocational High School and served in the Army during the Korean War.
A drummer, he was a part of a musical family. His brother, James "Jimmy," former husband of jazz singer Dodo Greene, was house pianist at the Colored Musicians Club. Another brother, the late Irving "Bo Peep" Greene, was a jazz bassist.
Kenny Greene recalled that he and his brothers took piano lessons at the former Chapel Community Center in Buffalo at the insistence of their late father, James Sr., himself a piano player. Their mother, Prudence, was a singer.
In the 1950s, Greene toured worldwide with singer Della Reese and was a member of Ella Fitzgerald's band.
After he stopped touring, he was a member of the Hackney Brothers Trio, a popular local jazz group, and played the major clubs here. He played with numerous other local bands before he stopped performing in 1968. He also was a drum instructor.
He worked for The News for 28 years, first as a circulation manager, then as transportation manager. He retired in 1991.
Active in St. Philip's Episcopal Church, he was a lay minister and a Sunday school teacher. He also was a former president of the church's Men's Club.
He and the former Irene McLeisch were married in 1962.
In addition to his wife, survivors include three daughters, Kim Harlene, Kelly Harlan of Charlotte, N.C., and Kristie Hollie Binks of the Town of Tonawanda; and a brother, James of San Diego.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday in St. Philip's Episcopal Church, 15 Fernhill Ave. A musical tribute in the Colored Musicians Club, 145 Broadway, directed by club President Macy Favor, will follow at 7 p.m.