Grew up in Cleveland. Went to Baldwin Wallace College, 1955-59. Moved to New York City in 1961. Worked with big bands of Larry Elgart and Sal Salvador. Played post-bop and 'free' jazz in the early 1960's with Archie Shepp, Pharaoh Sanders, Carla Bley, Charles Moffett, Kai Winding, Bill Watrous and Chic Corea, among others.
Took a 35-year vacation from music. Moved back to Cleveland in 1977 and worked as a hospital employee and union official. Upon retirement, returned to playing jazz and in 20003 helped form a quartet, The Northcoast Jazz Collective, which has played virtually every venue in town and won readers' polls for Best Jazz Band in 2008 and 2009.
The band mostly plays original compositions, half of them by Gallo, and the rest by Maier and Frank.
Th band offers a delectable blend of accessible jazz standards and “straight-up” original jazz material that is clever and intuitive and has modern ambience. They're one of the gems of the Northeast Ohio jazz scene. (Cool Cleveland Managing Editor Peter Chakerian)
Not only does Gallo do a solid job in the rhythm section, he solos imaginatively, playing with good continuity. He’s a tasteful, musical performer and would be an asset to any post bop band. (Harvey Pekar)
These guys -- Dan Maier, Mark Grey, Dave Frank, and John Gallo -- are absolutely masterful. Their music will take you places where you will want to go again and again