BROKEN REED SAX QUARTET

BROKEN REED SAX QUARTET

Wednesday, September 13, 7:00pm

Open Sound @ Open Source: 306 17th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11215

 
Charley Gerard is a composer, saxophonist, author and publisher in New York City. Mr. Gerard studied composition and saxophone with Jimmy Giuffre, conducting with Harold Farberman and David Leibowitz, and holds a graduate degree in ethnomusicology from Columbia University. He has taught composition at the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston, TX and presented papers at the New York Book Festival, Concordia University and at the Society of Ethnomusicologyin Washington, DC.

Mr. Gerard founded the Broken Reed Saxophone Quartetin 2002. He is a prolific composer and arranger, able to write a multi-part suite in a matter of a few weeks. Mr. Gerard draws inspiration from politics, film, as well as historical whimsy, enabling the quartet to transport their audience across time and space, from Mozart to New Orleans to Cuba, to the pages of poetry and popular culture. As its name implies, the group is as linked by its sense of humor as it is by its unique sound.

The current group is composed of Mr. Gerard on alto sax, Jenny Hill on soprano sax, Justin Flynn on tenor sax, and Dimitri Moderbacher on baritone sax. Other members of the group have included Thelonious Monk Jazz Saxophone Competition winner Jon Irabagan, Tom Olin, Chris Bacas, Dan Pratt, Jeff Schiller, Lily White, Lisa Parrott, Michel Göhler, Alden Banta, Frank Basile, Jeff Newell, Jacob Teichrow and Livio Almeida. Guest artists have included Gino Sitson, Greg Riss, Roberta Piket, Wade Ridenhour, Todd Isler, Jeff Hirschfield, Angela Ortiz and Eva Gerard. The group has collaborated with poets Caroline Hagood, Mitch Levenberg, Leslie Prosterman and Carole Langille.

Mr. Gerard’s compositions have been performed by One World Symphony, Eight Strings and a Whistle(flute, viola and cello), Washington Square Winds, musical theatre group Golden Fleece, Ltd., The Irrelevants (a viola and saxophone duo) and Washington Musica Viva. Mr. Gerard created the Weary Blues Project using the poetry of Langston Hughes and featuring Washington, DC poet Holly Bass. In 2011 the Embassy of the Czech Republic and Washington Musica Viva comissioned Mr. Gerard to write Dvorak Jazz Dancesand to arrange the music of Jaroslav Jezekfor jazz sextet the following year. Washington Musica Viva commissioned Mr. Gerard to compose Bukowski Liked Mozart(based on the Mozart Sonata No.9 in F, K. 377) which was broadcast live by Takoma City TV. Another highlight of this period was a series of concerts called Jewish Cabaret Project with arrangements of Kurt Weill and other Weimar-era cabaret composers.

Mr. Gerard’s awards include New Jazz Works grant from Chamber Music Americawith the generous support of the Doris Duke Foundation, Outstanding Academic Titlefrom Choice Magazine, finalist for the Association for Recorded Sound Collections(ARSC) in the category “Best Research in Recorded Folk and Ethnic Music,” and several ASCAP Standardsawards.

Mr. Gerard’s music has been published by Really Good Music, Harteluand Dorn. He is the author of Salsa: The Rhythm of Latin Music(White Cliffs Media), Jazz in Black and White: Race, Culture and Identity in the Jazz Community(Praeger), Music from Cuba: Mongo Santamaria, Chocolate Armenteros, and Other Stateside Cuban Musicians(Praeger), Jazz Riffs for Treble Instruments(Music Sales Company), Sonny Rollins(Music Sales Company), and Improvising Jazz Sax(Music Sales Company). Mr. Gerard also had a career as an editor with Gerard and Sarzin Publishing Co. which he started along with Evan Sarzin. In a 25-year period, the company published a variety of books for jazz musicians and students.