Gerry Sanders

My Jazz Story

Published on: 2017-01-12

I love jazz when it moves me emotionally, especially when it swings; it makes makes me smile. I play a bit, too, with a local big band. I was first exposed to jazz in the 4th grade. In high school I was lucky enough to see Dave Brubeck live twice and my music teachers brought me to two Sunday afternoon Count Basie performances in a local nightclub. Brubeck and Basie have been, along with the Duke later, my touchstones in Jazz: cool Brubeck and swinging Basie. Later in life, I volunteered to do Google Adwords for the Healdsburg Jazz Festival and in the course of time, I met Azar Lawrence, with whom I became friends. I saw Azar at Dizzy's in NY in 2012, one of my more memorable jazz performances. Great man, gentle soul, powerful sound. I used to host BackYard Jazz house concerts in Santa Rosa, CA. but I've moved on now. I still support Healdsburg Jazz Festival and use my BackYard Jazz newsletter to alert BackYard Jazz fans to local jazz performances. I also post to JazzNearYou. My advice to new listeners is listen with your eyes closed.