Welcome!

Gary Keller tenor sax

The big news is that my Covid vaccine has been scheduled for Jan 4th 2021. Adding the booster and activation time, I will be virus-proof by mid February. Wow, what a year it has been, almost surreal, but soon to realize the “new normal” in more than one way:

As previously announced, I have decided this is my last year at Frost. 39 years is a good run!. Could stay longer but it is definitely time for the following generation to have a crack at the job. Looking forward to frequent travel, composing, arranging, practice, gigs again, and having an unfettered schedule. The sax studio at Frost is as strong as every, so I am proud that my successor will have nothing to clean up or repair!

All in all a very successful semester under the circumstances – classes and ensemble met largely in person, although limited/restricted wind playing was a drag. Nevertheless learning happening and students submitted some outstanding recordings in lieu of live juries. And most further expanded their prowess with virtual music production techniques.

Some more or less recent news – Troy Roberts and I made a cute “Christmas Mash-Up” for the MJC Christman Show (which was a hoot) as well as a solo soprano backing track for the 10th anniversary show last spring.

Slightly less recent developments:

I am also pleased to see the release of Cheap Thrills featuring the music of tenor saxophonist Rick Margitza by the South Florida Jazz Orchestra. I was a treat to leading the sax section on this recording. I’d also like to shout out Troy Robert’s newest album Stuff I Heard. Troy has outdone itself on this one, playing bass as well as multiple saxophones.

The new year did bring some pleasant developments. I’m very happy to announce Brian Lynch’s new big band album The Omni-American Book Club has won the Grammy award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Recording. You can hear me blow alongside Dave Liebman on the 4th track “The Trouble With Elysium.” Crazy chords! The sax section is all Frost alums and my former students, anchored by lead Alto Tom Kelley. Frost jazz sax alum Michael Thomas’ Terazza Big Band has also been nominated in the same category, and features another of our NY based sax alums, Troy Roberts (not to mention a number Frost grads on other instruments filling out the band)

Please check out the the South Florida Jazz Orchestra’s’ wonderful new release of the music of Gary Lindsay, “Are We Still Dreaming”.  I’m supremely honored to be performing on this recording alongside so many gifted musicians. Gary’s music is beautiful, unique, and eminently satisfying on every level. This recording is long overdue. Still waiting to hear about the release of the SFJO’s recording of the music of Rick Margitza. Stay tuned! I hear it will be soon!

Older links (these will take a while to load – be patient!:

Presentation at the 2018 IASJ meeting

JEN Conference presentation Jan 2018

Upper Structures: The Unifying Element Between Chords, Scales, and the Melodic Line:

Some of the grand questions we attempted to answer:

   Is there any logic behind all these scales, chords, and  names?
   We talk about modes, but what does “modal” mean?
   If there is just a mode name how do I know what chord to play?
   How is it voiced to get the right sound?
   Are there any principles that tie all this chord scale  theory
   together?
   We need to hear it – but what is “it”?
   Are there any shortcuts?
   What can we learn from completely intuitive “ear”  players?

More Links (or use the menu bar at the top of the page):

Miami Sax Quartet You Tube channel

Gary Keller’s YouTube Channel

Both Gary Keller and the Miami Saxophone Quartet are Conn-Selmer endorsed artists. This means added support for clinics/concerts. Contact Gary Keller or visit www.connselmer.com for details.

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