Jim Gerard

I'm the author of four books, a journalist with bylines in top U.S. periodicals, playwright, amateur pianist and swing dancer.

About Me

Books include “Beam Me Up, Jesus” and “Who Moved My Secret?” Publications list includes: Salon, The New Republic, Washington Post Book World (in which I reviewed books about music), Huffington Post, Boston Review, Art & Antiques, N.J. Monthly. Performed as a swing dancer in the 1st New York Fringe Festival in the late 1990s. Achieved “Jazz Scholar” status at Swing University at Jazz at Lincoln Center. I had the great fortune to see and/or meet Teddy Wilson, Benny Carter, Lionel Hampton, Count Basie, Dexter Gordon, Sonny Stitt, Harold Nicholas and many other legendary musicians and dancers. My website is www.gangof60.com. On the home page, click “Music Writing” to read samples of my work on jazz.

My Jazz Story

Published on: 2016-09-19

When I was 21, my uncle Pete gave me as a graduation present "The Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz." When I got to "Doggin' Around," by Count Basie & His Orchestra, with Pres flying over that explosively smooth rhythm section, I knew I'd found nirvana. Jazz has changed my life in so many ways besides the thousands of hours of inherent pleasure I derived from listening. It has steered me toward many close friends, helped me discover a latent dancing ability, provided the opportunity to see and even speak to many of its legendary figures, provided an ancillary education in American history, politics and sociology not to be found in texts and induced me to take up piano studies. But most of all jazz has been an inspiration in my darkest hours; proof that even the most downtrodden of human beings can create works of towering, incandescent brilliance; that from the most improbable circumstances, a figure such as Louis Armstrong can change the course of an entire century, and that man can transcend evil and destruction and forge a path to the heavens.

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