Rowland Charles Wentworth Greenberg was born on August 28, 1920 in Oslo, Norway who first began as one of the country’s leading cyclists. He was Oslo champion at 17 and the following year he won the team championships at the junior National Championships. Turning to music he fashioned his trumpet style was inspired by the English trumpeter Nat Gonella, and by 1939 he was guesting in leading orchestras such as the Hot Dogs and Funny Boys.
Making several trips to England between 1938 and 1939 with Vic Lewis and George Shearing, he was a central part of Oslo’s swing-jazz milieu. He led his own Rowland Greenberg Swing Band from 1939 to 1941 with Arvid Gram Paulsen on sax, Lulle Kristoffersen on piano and Pete Brown on drums. He also led his Rowland Greenberg Rytmeorkester from 1940 to 1944 with tenor saxophonist Gordon Franklin, Arvid Gram Paulsen on alto sax, Robert Normann on guitar, Kjell Bjørnstad, Frank Hansen, Lyder Vengbo on trombone, Fred Lange-Nielsen on bass. He release an album in 1942 that was banned by the German regime, and he was jailed for breaching the Rytmeklubbforbundet by viewing jazz films 1943.
After his release Rowland became active in Sweden with Cecil Aagaard, Thore Erling and Malte Johnson and in England with Jimmie Woode and Sam Samson. He toured Norway with his own band for two years beginning in 1948 playing bebop to the country. He was a part in the All-Star Trumpets session at the 1949 Paris Jazz Festival with Miles Davis, Bill Coleman, Jimmy McPartland and Aime Barelli, played with Charlie Parker, Louis Armstrong, and Down Beat gave him the first chart placing of his career. During the Fifties he played extensively in the orchestras led by Egil Monn-Iversen, Leiv Flisnes and Terje Kjær, led his own orchestras including Mikkel Flagstad on piano, Totti Bergh on saxophone, Knut Young on bass, Ivar Wefring on piano, Bjørn Krokfoss on drums until 1981, and played with Ben Webster and Teddy Wilson.
Trumpeter Rowland Greenberg recorded three albums as a leader and won two jazz awards before passing away on April 2, 1994.
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