Gary Meek
Gary MeekBorn in Encino, California, on March 16, 1961, Gary Meek's natural musical talent led him to pick up a variety of instruments at an early age. He started playing the piano at the age of five and working through his father's record collection. After hearing his dad's copy of 'Begin The Beguine' by Artie Shaw, young Gary decided to play the clarinet. He played both piano and clarinet in Junior High School, but found upon entering High School that in order to join the jazz band, he would have to learn saxophone and flute, too. After graduating from High School, and while a student at the Dick Grove School of Music (1979 - 1980), Gary joined the Los Angeles Jazz Workshop, swinging his sax in a big band once a week. He played saxophone and keyboards at wedding, parties and in nightclubs until, at the age of 25, his big break came with a gig with Dionne Warwick's band on a worldwide tour in 1986. 

Albums:

  1. Live At Ronnie Scott's
  2. Time One 
  3. Good Friends

 

The following year, Gary met Airto Moreira and Flora Purim and discovered musical soul mates. "They offered me my first major road gig," he recalls, "and the challenge of adapting to Brazilian music, which I had never played before". 

For four years Gary toured the world with the two legendary Brazilian jazz artists, appearing on their albums and with The Gods of Jazz supergroup, with the likes of Stanley Clarke, Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock. In 1990, along with the guitarist José Neto, Airto, Flora and Gary formed a quartet known asFourth World. Aside from his work with Fourth World, Gary has also appeared on approximately 50 records by diverse artists, including Sergio Mendez, Yutaka Yokokura, Kevyn Lettau, Frank Gambale, the Rippingtons, Dave Benolt, Alphonse Mouzon, Jeff Lorber and many others. In 1991, Gary recorded his first, self-titled solo album for Lipstick Records. For his second solo album, his first for M.E.L.T (then B&W Music), Gary recruited a quartet and invited his colleague from Fourth World, José Neto to guest on guitar. The release of Time One(BNET005) in the Spring of 1995 was marked with a European tour which concluded with a triumphant residency at Ronnie Scotts in London where the Meek style, combining Latin and funk with jazz improvisations, drew great acclaim from the critics. His second album was Good Friends (BW102) Meek has a long-standing relationship with keyboardist Jeff Lorber and is featured prominently on the keyboardist's last four recordings for Verve. The two have toured widely over the past 10 years, including a 1995-1996 world tour with Herb Alpert, promoting Alpert's Second Wind album. In 1997, Meek toured with Al Jarreau in the U.S. and Europe. In 2000, Gary once again teamed up with long standing friends Purim and Moreira to record Perpetual Emotion. In addition to playing woodwinds Meek also co-produced the album. For his A440 debut, Step 7, Meek took advantage of the musical momentum created by Perpetual Emotion. The same band was used for most of Step 7 -- you can feel the chemistry that comes from having played 'live' together many times. Throughout his career, Meek has also toured with bands led by Sergio Mendes, Alphonse Mouzon, The Rippingtons, David Benoit, Kevyn Lettau and many others. At present, he is working in Los Angeles primarily as an in-demand session player, composer, and arranger. Gary has played on recordings with notables such as Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, Herbie Hancock, George Duke, Russell Ferrante, Jimmy Haslip, Alphonso Johnson, Alphonse Mouzon, and Brian Bromberg.

Meek has released four solo recordings to date, including Gary Meek, Time One, Live at Ronnie Scott's and Good Friends. His latest recording, Step 7, was released by A440 Music Group on November 12, 2002.