Born in Philadelphia, Gerald
Veasley has a varied and impressive resume' that includes recording and/or
stints with Joe Zawinul of Weather Report, his longtime friend and mentor,
the late Grover Washington Jr., McCoy Tyner, The Dixie Hummingbirds, Odean
Pope, Special EFX, Joe McBride, Teddy Pender grass, Phil Perry, Chioli
Minucci, Dianne Reeves, George Howard, Philip Bailey of Earth, Wind &
Fire, Kenny Blake, Pamela Williams, Eric Marienthal, Onaje Alan Gumbs,
Omar Hakim, and many more. He has shared stages and tours with Miles
Davis and Dizzy Gillespie. Gerald was recently named "Best
Electric Bassist" in Jazziz magazine's annual readers' poll and
Philadelphia Magazine named him Best Jazz Band. Beasley was nominated and
voted as President of the Philadelphia charter of NARAS "The Grammy
People" and is credited by author Allan Slutsky as a key contributor
to his classis book/CD set, "Standing In The Shadows Of Mo-Town - The
Life and Music Of Legendary Bassist James Jamerson".
He started playing the bass at age twelve and
recalls learning a great deal from in-home jam sessions with friends of
his musically inclined parents. He was inspired by his parentsí
hard work and sacrifices as they gave him a good stable home life and
appreciation of education. As an outstanding academic high school
graduate he earned a complete four year full academic scholarship to the
University of Pennsylvania. During his third year, Veasley lost his
father. To deal with the loss, he focused on music, listening to
records featuring Charles Mingus, Wes Montgomery, Grand Green and Ron
Carter. These all-night affairs would also include Veasley teaching
himself how to improvise, transcribe solos and studying chord progressions.
Veasley took up studying classical guitar to expand his range as a
"There were several factors which led me to
choose music as a profession," he says. "Basically, it always
moved me emotionally and offered me a way to express things I couldn't
find words for. When my father died, I had a hard time coming to
grips with the trauma, and music proved very therapeutic."
The mostly high-profile sideman gigs came in rapid succession for Gerald
starting in the early Eighties. Depending on who he was hooked up
with, he displayed a starting affinity for all sorts of styles. He
played avant-garde music with saxophonist Odean Pope, did orchestra dates
with the flutist Leslie Burrs, and joined violinist John Blake's group for
a U.S. tour and three albums on Gramavision.
In 1988, Gerald showed his fusion side as part of
the Zawinul Syndicate, and through the years since, he has been affiliated
with a wide array of distinctive players - Larry Coryell, Khan Jamal, Eric
Kloss, Pat Martino, Charlie Rouse, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, McCoy Tyner, label
mate Joe McBride, Special EFX and pieces of A Dream.
Gerald's resume also boasts numerous other
accolades. He was voted "Talent Deserving Wider Recognition"
in every Downbeat critics' poll from 1983 through 1992. He
was most recently named "Best Bassist" in Jazziz magazine's 1999
annual readers poll. He has also taught the history and fundamentals
of the electric bass to musicians and educators, both privately and at the
university level. He has been artist in residence at the
Artist-Teachers institute of Stockton State College; guest lecturer at
Dartmouth; instructor at Philadelphia's University of the Arts; and video
instructor on "Solo Bass Techniques" released by CCP Baldwin.
While still doing the occasional sideman date,
Gerald's present focus is on building the audience for his own band both
in Europe and Stateside, "creating more and better music, reaching
more people and giving my band its own identity." All signs
indicate that Gerald will be one of the most popular and revered bassist/composers,
as well as instrumental recording artists, of the millennium and beyond.