Jerry Z represents a sophisticated and modern approach to the Hammond B3 and has been an intrinsic part of the NYC music scene since 1996. Jerry's insight into the jazz, funk and soul genres, his exceptional facility on the instrument and his gift of innovation always make for a fresh funky energetic listening experience.
As a child growing up in NYC he took up the organ and discovered a love for classical music. In his teens he found himself exploring Blues, Rock and Jazz, and playing his first professional gigs around New York City before enrolling in the Purchase Conservatory of Music. While studying Composition and Studio Engineering Jerry was recruited by the head of Purchase's burgeoning jazz department, guitarist Doug Munro. He would continue playing with Munro after graduating, touring and cutting his first two albums Blueness and Up Against It with Doug's organ trio.
During the late nineties Jerry was, in his words, "an apprentice in the Blues workshop of the late great blues guitarist Little Melvin. We had a residency at Terra Blues and toured all over the Northeast. I was heavily submerged in the blues in those days not only with Little Melvin, but with Roxy Perry, Slam Allen and Ellard James "Moose" Boles."
In 2003, Jerry developed a radically funkier, more soulful approach to the organ trio which led to a collaboration with drummer Jim Payne and guitarist Bill Bickford. The Jim Payne Band (JPB) collaboration proved fruitful, producing two albums (Sensei and Energie), several national tours and a number of notable appearances at jazz festivals. Bill Milkowski, in reviewing Sensei, wrote that Jerry "acquits himself with requisite grease and aggression on this slamming debut.”
Following his work with JPB, he began working with soul jazz pioneer Melvin Sparks. Jerry recorded two critically acclaimed cd's with Sparks, "This is it" and "Groove on Up", contributing his funky opus "Onion Patch" to the latter. In 2006 he began working with drum legend Mike Clark and his Prescription Duo/Organ Trio. Clark has described Jerry as the "consummate organ player" with "one of the best grooves and bass lines I have ever played with".
Jerry's work with Clark led to an invitation to join the Headhunters from 2007-2010, recording the live album On Top and accompanying the group on several national and international tours. In 2008 he toured Australia with the Headhunters, which featured his own funky adaptations of Headhunters classics for organ trio. Also that year he performed at Jazz at Lincoln Center with legendary guitarist Hiram Bullock.
Since 2007 Jerry has been a staple of cutting-edge guitarist Oz Noy's band that regularly performs at the Bitter end in NYC. Jerry appeared on Oz Noy's Twisted Blues Volume 1 & 2 and Who Gives A Funk(2016).
In addition to those artists mentioned above Jerry has worked with: Fred Wesley, Bernard Purdie, John Scofield, Donald Harrison, Keith Carlock, Mark Whitfield, George Porter Jr, Adam Nussbaum, Will Lee, Vinnie Colaiuta and many others.
Jerry has performed at most major jazz festivals including the Gathering of the Vibes festival, the Berlin Jazz Festival, the Corsica Jazz Festival, the Anguilla Jazz Festival, the JVC Jazz Festival, Blue Note, Billboard Live Tokyo, Sweet Rhythm, CBGB's, Chicago Blues, the Bitter End, Joe Zawinul's Birdland, Siberia Jazz Fest, Moscow House of Music, Leverkusen Jazztage, BB Kings, and Dizzy's Club at Lincoln Center.
More recent, Jerry toured Russia in late 2016 with his own band the “Jerry Z Organ Trio”, which featured saxophonist Chad Lefkowitz-Brown and drummer Andrew Atkinson. In addition to appearing on Oz Noy’s latest recording, Jerry also appears on Delbert McClintons latest record release.
At present Jerry Z is at work in the studio, producing his own debut album.