Born and raised in Ledgewood, New Jersey, trombonist Gerard Carelli formed his first band in high school. One of his first gigs was at his dad's Elks Club, beginning a lifelong study in song selection, tempos and the art of playing for dancing.
With an education degree from North Texas State University and recordings with the Grammy nominated One O’clock Lab Band, Gerard moved to Northern California. He freelanced for several years before winning a chair with the Ray Charles Orchestra for a world tour.
Tired of the road, Gerard moved to New York playing Latin gigs with Hector Lavoe, Manny Oquendo and Ray Barretto and subbing on numerous Broadway shows. He also played for singers Rosemary Clooney, Johnny Mathis, Mel Torme and jazz artists Charlie Persip, Gerry Mulligan and Mel Lewis and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra.
Adding singing to his talents, Gerard became known in New York as a savvy band leader. He was asked to front the Rainbow Room Orchestra further refining his band-leading skills at New York's ultimate night spot. He was hired by Peter Duchin to be Entertainment Director at the Waldorf=Astoria where he booked and led hundreds of high profile jobs.
Having learned from the best and the worst, it was time for Gerard to form his own orchestra. Since 1993, The Gerard Carelli Orchestra has played for President Bill Clinton, Governor Hugh Carey and Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands. They've entertained at Lincoln Center's Midsummer Night's Swing and are a favorite of the New York Swing Dance Society. Now that's a tough dance crowd to please!
In his spare time, Gerard recorded two CDs to high acclaim, “Beautiful Dancer” and “Lucky to Be Me”. As a nightclub performer, Gerard's many gigs include a smashing seven-week engagement at Michael’s Pub, performances at the 92nd Street Y, Firebird Café, Eighty Eight’s, Judy’s and Danny’s.
To learn more about Gerard's recordings, jazz appearances and upcoming dates visit: www.GerardCarelli.com
Gerard Carelli is a spectacular talent
his new album is the kind
I would rush to buy. Cy Coleman
...some of the best known standards around. His playing has imagination
and style, with a good jazz feel.
He not only knows how to swing a vocal
he adds a sweet-and-low trombone
to the mix. Classy and classic.
Patricia Myers, Jazz Times
Gerard Carelli is the first combination trombonist-singer Ive
seen since Billy Eckstine and hes a talent on both ends.
Jerome Wilson, Cadence Magazine
caresses rather than steamrolls a song
choice of repertoire for the show
was impeccable, an engaging mix of familiar and lesser known gems.
George Kanzler, The Star Ledger
I love his voice, reminiscent of Sinatra and Darin, and smooth, easy style.
Roy Sander, Back Stage
His voice is appealingly warm.
Chip Deffaa, New York Post
He performs beyond short term interest. He digs inside the meaning of
a song, giving each word a verbal image with great respect and lovingness.
Jazz historian Herb Wong