Jaws dropped, feet tapped and heads shook to the beat of Benny Green’s piano performance on Saturday, March 10, at the Jazz Music Festival.

Last week, high schools competed in jazz competitions and the Jazz Music Festival, featuring Benny Green, was the final performance closing the week.

“You can feel it that when he plays that he loves music,” said Abbey Leach, a performer at the event. “He is listening so intensely to everyone else, just adding what is needed and nothing else more, and that was really interesting to watch.”

Leach performed alongside Carter Burenhite, Danny Gibson and Anna Peterson in the pre-show act called Long Walk by Jill Scott.

“My mind is blown, I have never ever seen someone play piano like that,” Gibson said.

Gibson said Green’s fingers moved really fast. She heard him talk about the importance of practicing and listening to the most important artists and playing what they play.

“There’s more expression and love you can share with the people around you,” Gibson said.

Gibson said there is a feeling that comes from others when you play as they watch and listen.

“Coming to festivals like this brings joy to me, especially for the next few months afterwards,” Petersen said. “I love it so much.”

Petersen said one of her favorite things to do is perform with her friends. She plays the bass.