Born: October 4, 1948
Organist/Pianist Gary Brunotte performs his own brand of lyrical jazz, influenced by the tradition but in his own personal voice. Born and raised in a small town in Minnesota, he remembers, “My uncle played accordion, was self-taught and performed in the Navy band. In addition, my stepfather played guitar and my other uncles all played instruments. I started taking accordion lessons when I was nine.” He debuted as a professional musician at a New Year's Eve job when he was 11, switched to organ and performed with r and b and rock and roll bands as a teenager. “I discovered jazz after listening to Brasil '66 and Blood, Sweat and Tears. I particularly enjoyed Howard Roberts' records of the period and Jimmy Smith.” After graduating from college, Brunotte attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, switched to piano, and taught at the prestigious school for three years. He moved to Manhattan in 1980. “I worked for a period at Rodney Dangerfield's comedy club. The jazz trio would open a set and there would be a different singer each week before the comedian came out. It was fun for a time.” During this period, he won a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to write a suite for a big band and his orchestra performed once a week in a mid-town club. After living and working in the Hudson Valley area, Brunotte spent 1987-97 back in Minnesota. “I played a lot of gigs at local jazz clubs and restaurants. I also recorded my first CD, Yesterday's Dream for the Altenburgh label.”...
AwardsNational Endowment for the Arts (NEA) 1981 - Grant to write a Big Band Suite, performed by the Herb Pomeroy Orchestra
Manic MomentsSelf Produced
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