Vernice “Bunky” Green (born Apr. 23rd, 1935) is a product of Wisconsin, where he was raised and learned to play the alto saxophone. His first big break came when Charles Mingus briefly hired him in the ’60s, an association that left a lasting influence on Green’s own style.
Green left Mingus to relocate in Chicago where he performed regularly, appearing with such players as Sonny Stitt, Yusef Lateef and Louie Bellson among others. His style was ever-evolving and succeeded in integrating traditional and contemporary improvising techniques. Green has a list of wide-ranging musical heroes that he credits for his development: Bach, Beethoven, Coltrane, Chopin and Louis Armstrong. But Green says, “Bird was my original hero. He used to tell me to keep my ears open and keep moving forward.”