Gary Zellerbach is a popular Bay Area guitarist and proud fifth generation native San Franciscan. He received his first guitar on his 13th birthday and has been playing ever since. While in high school, Gary studied jazz guitar with noted local instructor Dave Smith and played in numerous blues and rock bands around San Francisco.
Next stop was Brandeis University outside Boston, where Gary received his BA degree while continuing jazz guitar studies with Andy Caponigro and famed jazz guitarist and educator Mick Goodrick. Gary had some great musicians as classmates, including pianist George Kahn and bassist/music editor Carl Sealove. With local and Brandeis musicians, Gary formed a progressive jazz-fusion group called Spectrum, managed by Ted Kurland (who went on to become the top talent agent in all of jazz!). Spectrum played around the Northeast, including opening concerts and club dates for Gary Burton and Keith Jarrett.
Meanwhile, Gary's childhood friend and high school band mate, pianist George Michalski, moved to Hollywood and eventually lured Gary (and a number of his Brandeis friends) to Los Angeles. While there, Gary played popular music (mostly rock and R&B) to survive, while continuing to study jazz as much as possible. He played in the advanced jazz band at Dick Grove School of Music and took seminars with many top LA session players, such as Joe Diorio and Tommy (I can sight read anything) Tedesco. A particular highlight at that time was attending a three day guitar workshop with Pat Martino at the Guitar Institute of Technology (now the Musicians Institute).