Program Coordinator & Professor of Jazz Studies, Saxophone
Prior to earning a Masters of Music in Jazz Performance Degree at the University of Miami, Gary studied with David N. Baker and Jerry Coker, two pioneers of Jazz Education. He was active in the New York “Loft Scene” from the late sixties through the early eighties. He has decades of professional experience as a performer, composer, author, recording artist, and teacher in the USA and Europe. He has taught jazz saxophone and improvisation at the University of Miami (1982 – 1993), Florida International University (1993 – present), and the Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops (1987 – present). From the late 60ʼs through the 70ʼs he was active in the innovative, energetic, and notorious loft scene – the testing ground for dozens of creative young jazz musicians. As a performing member of Free Life Communications, an organization of young jazz artists founded by David Liebman and Richie Beirach, Gary presented concerts of original music with John Abercrombie, Jan Hammer, Michael Moore, Bobby Moses, and many others. He appeared on records alongside Randy Brecker, John Abercrombie, Dan Wall, Adam Nussbaum, David Friesen, Ira Sullivan, and others. He has shared concert, festival and night club stages with (in addition to the above) John Scofield, Dave Liebman, Tom Harrell, Jaco Pastorius, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Andy Laverne, Red Rodney, James Moody, George Adams, Hank Crawford, Mose Allison, Conrad Herwig, Barry Ries, Miroslav Vitous, Franco Ambrosetti, Gerald Cleaver, Nasheet Waits, and more.
Gary has been awarded numerous National Endowment for the Arts performance grants and has published five highly acclaimed books on jazz improvisation – “Patterns for Jazz” (co-authored with Jerry Coker); “Expansions – a method for developing new material for improvisation”; “Hank Mobley Transcribed Solos”; “Connecting Jazz Theory”; and “Triad Pairs for Jazz”. These five books serve as texts for his classes at FIU and elsewhere, and have advanced his reputation as a teacher worldwide, resulting in many workshops and performances at universities in Ecuador, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Finland, Hungary, etc. Gary has been awarded three Fulbright Scholar Awards which have taken him to the Hochschule fur Musik Hans Eisler in Berlin; Liszt Academy in Budapest; and toVienna at the Konservatorium Wien. For the past four years Gary has been a member of the Miroslav Vitous Quartet, recording, and touring Europe, appearing as featured soloists on “Universal Syncopations 2”, and “Remembering Weather Report” both on the ECM label.