As the second anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings draws near, one young victim lives on through her father's music.
Six-year-old Ana Grace Marquez-Greene is the inspiration behind a new jazz CD entitled "Beautiful Life."
"Anna loved to sing and she loved music and she had a really beautiful singing voice," her father, Jimmy Greene, said. "I thought it would be a fitting tribute to have singers and vocalists on a recording of mine."
Greene, an established saxophone player who teaches music at Western Connecticut State University, said one song on the CD is a jazz version of "Maybe" from the musical "Annie," which Ana loved.
"She used to sing all the songs. She would sing all of them," said Greene. "'It's a Hard Knock Life,' 'Tomorrow,' but 'Maybe' was the one she especially loved to sing. Her little voice sounded so beautiful singing it."
Other tracks on the album hold sentimental value for Greene and remind him of memories made with his wife, Nelba Marquez-Greene, Ana and son, Isaiah, even if they were just playing in the background during a car ride together.
Greene composed three original songs, including "Last Summer," inspired by the picture on the album cover of Isaiah and Ana embracing.
"Nelba has such an eye for these great moments and she said, 'Why don't the two of you put your arms around one another?' The lighting, it's so beautiful," Greene recalled.
NBC's "The Voice" winner Javier Colon is featured on the album singing "When I Come Home." Colon and Greene, both Connecticut natives, met while studying at the University of Hartford's prestigious Hartt School.
A 13-piece string ensemble from the Hartford Symphony Orchestra also performs on the album.
Musician Harry Connick, Jr., who has supported the Sandy Hook community since the tragedy two years ago, recently tweeted his support for Greene.
Greene, who stays busy touring and teaching, is donating a portion of his CD's proceeds to two charities: The Ana Grace Project, which helps children who are victims of violence in partnership with Klingberg Family Centers, and the Artists Collective, which brings the arts to young people in Hartford.