Chuck Greenberg, the pioneering leader and producer of the Grammy award winning band Shadowfax died of an apparent heart attack. He was 45. In addition to being an accomplished saxophone and flute player, Greenberg was a pioneer in the world of synthesized woodwind musical instruments. He was instrumental in the invention and refinement of the Lyricon and through that work, developed the very distinct and personal sound that became the foundation of his very successful band.
Although associated with the creation and dissemination of the New Age music genre, Greenberg's and Shadowfax's compositions and recordings were more accurately described as "World Beat Jazz" with many compositions sounding more like contemporary and classical jazz songs utilizing a broad variety of ethnic rhythms and instruments. The band truly blurred the line between many genres and established themselves as a hard-to-categorize, yet always evolving group of musicians.
Born in Chicago on March 25th, 1950, Greenberg, along with guitarist G.E. Stinson, bass player Phil Maggini and drummer Stu Nevitt formed the nucleus of the genre-bending, musical experiment called Shadowfax in 1974. Over the past 20 years, the band recorded 10 albums, plus a greatest hits package, won a Grammy award for "Folk Songs For a Nuclear Village" in 1988 and a Grammy nomination for 1992's "Esperanto." Greenberg also recorded a very successful solo project in 1991 called "From A Blue Planet." The band's current project, Shadowfax Live, recorded earlier this year in Santa Cruz, was released in July. A video of that live performance will be released November 7, 1995.
Responsible for the formation, reformation and maintenance of Shadowfax, most of whose records he produced or co-produced, Greenberg was also a loving husband to wife, Joy and father of three wonderful boys, Maceo, Gian and Greg . In addition to his remarkable accomplishments as a world class musician, he will be remembered for his wild sense of humor, his integrity, tenacity, loyalty to his family, friends and business associates, and his well-honed negotiation skills. He was also a gourmet chef whose canning and barbecue techniques were well-known throughout Central California. Greenberg's plum jam won the blue ribbon in the San Luis Obisbo County Fair for the last three years running.
Mr. Greenberg is also survived by his mother Janice Stein, his brother Robert Greenberg, two sisters Susan Kortokrax and Jeanette DiGiulio, his sister-in-law and brother-in-law Jill and Donald Stegman and several nieces and nephews.