Percussionist, jazz improviser, creative new music composer, teacher, and humanist Jerry Granelli passed away on July 20. Ottawa audiences know Jerry well for his annual presentation of “Tales of a Charlie Brown Christmas” and for his many appearances at the Jazz Festival.
Jazz journalist, and long time writer for DownBeat magazine, James Hale remembers, “I went with him one time when he had been asked to teach a lesson in improvisation to the Grade 9 music class at Lisgar. The first thing he did was to tell the students to put down their own instruments and pick up something they’d never played before. NOW! he said. We’re going to learn to improvise.”
For many years, Jerry suppressed his participation as the drummer on “Charlie Brown” and only in the last 10 years or so did he revive the piece, finally acknowledging that ultimately it gave him, and the world, great joy. For many of us, Jerry really needs to be more recognized for his stunning achievements and deep creativity on works like “Billy the Kid”, and his beautiful new project “Dance Hall” with Bill Frisell and Robben Ford, just to name a few.
Of course we’ll miss his great talent and his enormous creativity and most of all, we’ll miss his great friendship and mythic humanity.
– Catherine O’Grady, Executive Producer
For those wishing to join the online service:
Sadhana of Mahamudra Feast Funeral Service
Jerry Granelli, Sunday July 25, 2021 at 3:00pm EST
Link here and click on the Main Shrine Room.