Charley Gerard is the director of the BRSQ. He is a composer, saxophonist, editor (Gerard & Sarzin Pub.
) and author of books on Latin music and jazz. Reviews of Charley Gerard’s music: “Brilliant music by Gerard.” Dance Magazine (1976) “Saxophonist Charley Gerard is a gifted composer in his own right, as anyone present at neighboring St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church’s Halloween concert might remember. That concert premiered Gerard’s piece The Headless Horseman, a jazzy, galloping romp of fun fright, and definitely one of that evening’s highlights.” Brooklyn Eagle 12/03/2009
September 22, 2011 http://www.examiner.com/art-travel-in-washington-dc/world-premiere-of-dvorak-inspired-jazz-piece-wows-at-czech-embassy-review#ixzz1Z63xPKZo
The world premiere of “Dvorak Jazz Dances” at the Czech Embassy last night proved that the classical composer's still very cool and hot in his 170th year -- celebrated throughout Washington in the Dvorak “Mutual Inspirations Festival.”
The imaginative, inventive, witty jazz piece, using Dvorak’s Slavonic Dances as a brilliant starting point, epitomizes the “Mutual Inspirations” theme of the festival that began on the Czech composer’s 170th birthday September 8 and ends on October 28, 2011, Czech National Day.
Local composer/alto saxophonist Charley Gerard created 11 dynamic and rhythmically compelling short jazz works based on Dvorak’s most famous dances, set to blues, African, Latin, even calypso and minuet rhythms.
Their titles are “silly puns,” Gerard commented, playing off the sounds of Antonin Dvorak’s name and nickname “Shack”: “Divorce Shack,” “Afrolantonin,” Calypslovonic,” "Like Sonny, Like Coltrane, Like Dvorak."
The audience didn't just like it, they whooped, yelped, bravoed each selection and each extraordinary musician of Washington Musica Viva: Carl Banner (piano), James King (bass), Syberen van Munster (guitar), and Lenny Robinson (drums).
"Dvorak Jazz Dances" will be performed again free at Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage on October 5 at 6 PM. An audio visual recording will be posted later on www.kennedy-center.org
After the Czech Embassy standing ovation, one audience member summed it up: “This music makes me feel it’s good to be alive.”