Jerry Weir is a vibraphonist and marimba player. For over 10 years he was the vibraphonist for Mauricio De Souza's Bossa Brasil, a band led by Mauricio De Souza, an extraordinary drummer from Brasilia. During that time he appeared on 3 CD's recorded by the group that received much airplay in the NY/NJ area. With Bossa Brasil he played many gigs at NYC/NY jazz clubs such as the Blue Note, Trumpets, Bar Next Door, Delta's, The Wine Bar, Papillon 25, and others. The band also performed at several jazz festivals including the NJPAC Summer Festival, St. Peter's Church Midday Jazz, Long Branch Jazz Festival, Morristown Jazz Festival, and others.
In addition to his work with Bossa Brasil Jerry was a favorite sideman of many bands at Trumpet's Jazz Club in Montclair, NJ. His appearances there include gigs with Dave Stryker, Ted Curson, Anna Maria Mannarino, Dave Morrish, and others. He was a popular guest with the Ted Curson's group at his Trumpet's Jam Sessions.
Jerry fell in love with the sound of the vibraphone the first time he heard the album Crystal Silence by vibraphone great Gary Burton while in high school. Already on a percussion and drum set path he attended the University of Iowa and studied percussion with Thomas L. Davis and Steven Schick. It was there that his interest in the vibraphone intensified while hanging out night after night in Mr. Davis's office playing along with Gary Burton albums on the stereo. After 2 years at U. of I. he left school and returned to Omaha, Nebraska where he was raised (actually in Carter Lake, Iowa which is right next to it) and fell into a very active jazz scene although mostly playing drum set. While playing drums for lots of jazz gigs, shows, jingles, and tours he also auditioned for the Omaha Symphony Orchestra and became a regular with the orchestra.
Although he loved the drums and percussion he found himself drawn more and more to the vibraphone and decided to audition for Manhattan School of Music in NYC because David Friedman was teaching there. He had been playing music full time for 2 years in Omaha when he was accepted at MSM and decided to head for NY.
Upon arriving in New York he first studied with Ian Finkel, world's greatest xylophone virtuoso. It was with Ian that he realized how much work he had to do and how serious the NY music scene is. In addition, somewhere along the timeline from acceptance at MSM and when school started, David Friedman stopped teaching at the school. So, while studying xylophone and mallets with Ian he began studying orchestral percussion with Fred Hinger, principal timpanist with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.
After his first year at MSM he began studying privately with David Friedman. David was a great inspiration and was very active and visible on the NY jazz scene at the time. Joe Locke and Dave Samuels were also very active at the time and he saw them perform as often as he could in addition to taking vibraphone/marimba lessons with both of them. He took every opportunity to go see Joe Locke play and took a couple of lessons with him while working as a temp worker in Wall Street investment banks. Later, about the time his first son was born, he began taking lessons with Dave Samuels. Dave was a great inspiration as well as he was one of the most musical of vibraphonists and always had time for vibraphone talk and casual conversation.
During his New York years, Jerry played many jazz gigs as a drummer as well as a vibraphonist. He also played many off-broadway shows, orchestral concerts, nightclub acts and a couple of musical tours. He was percussionist for the contemporary music group the Musicians Accord for several seasons and premiered new composers works with that group during his tenure.
Currently, Jerry resides in Ponte Vedra, FL and has yet to get his musical life into gear as he makes his living as a Software Engineer. But, the music is always close to his heart and mind and believes that there are many musical opportunities in the Jacksonville, FL area and looks forward to becoming part of the scene.
Study and Teachers:
- Vibraphone and Marimba: David Friedman, Dave Samuels, Joe Locke, Thomas L. Davis, James Preiss
- Xylophone: Ian Finkel and Fred Hinger
- Jazz Piano and Harmony: Garry Dial
- Drums and Timpani: Luigi Waites, Joe Voda, Fred Hinger
- Manhattan School of Music
- University of Iowa