Affiliation: Jerry Embree Swing Band
New Orleans Jazzman Band
The Flavors of New Orleans
The Gumbo Trio
Jerry Embree is a professional musician, bandleader, composer and music producer based in New Orleans, LA. His primary musical instruments are tenor and soprano saxophone. He is also a composer and vocalist.
Jerry was born in Bennettsville, South Carolina in 1961, within 20 miles of where Dizzy Gillespie and John Coltrane were both born. Jerry was a musical stand-out in his school bands. In 1979, James Houlik, Professor of Saxophone at the prestigious North Carolina School of the Arts, heard Jerry perform in a state-wide solo competition, and recruited him to attend the invitation-only arts conservatory in Winston-Salem, N.C. Attending on multiple scholarships, Embree graduated from NCSA with a Bachelor of Music degree in 1984. By the time of his graduation, Jerry had already toured the country with a professional musical production \"Jazz Is\", and was working professionally around Winston-Salem with his own band, \"The Nomads\".
Looking to expand his musical knowledge and opportunities, he moved to New Orleans in January, 1985. He soon established himself as a sideman in the fertile blues, jazz and zydeco scene. Always active not just as a performer, but also in the business side of music, in 1987 he joined the Nathan-Bering Agency as an account representative, selling and booking talent for conventions and corporate events. Under the tutelage of agency founder Charlie Bering (at the time Bering was the night concert producer for New Orleans Jazz and Heritage), Embree gained a keen awareness of working with contracts, talent, clients, and the general public. A highlight of this employment came when Embree booked Earl King for a festival in Greece, and traveled as road manager for the event.
In 1989, Jerry accepted the job of Studio Manager/Marketing Director of Ultrasonic Studios in New Orleans. Ultrasonic was the largest, and most dominant multi-track production studio in New Orleans for more than a decade, and many national and international artists recorded there during Embree\'s tenure. He remained at the studio until 1994. During this time, Jerry continued performing with many local musicians at numerous venues.
Noting that many great recordings of Louisiana music were being produced and sold, but not getting very much radio airplay, Embree took it upon himself to create, produce, and launch a national radio series that featured the many styles of Louisiana music. Thus was born \"The Creole Gumbo Radio Show\". This program (and the subsequent series \"South To Louisiana\") would eventually air on more than 100 public radio stations across the country, and win a coveted National Endowment for the Arts Award. The programs aired on the National Public Radio satellite network from 1992-1996.
In 1996, Jerry made a conscious decision to focus more on live music performance. A natural entertainer, Jerry is happiest performing in front of an audience. He loves to play, and it really shows. He became a bandleader again, both as an outlet for his sax and vocals, and for his own compositions. The first band he established in New Orleans was the Jerry Embree Swing Band. Later, in an effort to diversify and take advantage of more gig opportunities, he branched out with other musical offerings. Today he is the band leader of four musical groups: The Flavors of New Orleans, The Gumbo Trio, Jerry Embree Swing Band, New Orleans Jazzman Band, and The Jaywalkers Second Line Jazz Band. Jerry performs an average of 340+ gigs a year.
Since 2005, Jerry has held the position of talent director for Arnaud\'s Restaurant, a legendary French Quarter Creole establishment that offers traditional New Orleans jazz (The Gumbo Trio) seven nights a week, plus at Sunday brunch. The largest privately owned restaurant in New Orleans, Arnaud\'s has operated continuously since 1918.
In 2006 and 2008, Abita Music Company received grants from The Grammy Foundation to catalog and archive the hundreds of hours of radio transcriptions he produced in the \'90\'s. This archived body of work was then donated to The Edith Garland Dupr Library at the Louisiana State University at Lafayette.
Jerry is still active today in the studio as a producer, composer, and session player, having produced and/or performed on hundreds of tracks, and digitally mastered literally thousands of tracks. Noteworthy session performances include playing a sax solo on an the CD \"Alive and Kickin\' \" by the legendary Fats Domino, and also playing sax on recordings by famed Louisiana songwriter Bobby Charles.
Since mid 2010, Embree has maintained the position of Entertainment Director for The Creole Queen, an authentic paddle wheel vessel offering nightly dinner jazz cruises on the Mississippi River. New Orleans Jazzman Band is the house band for this venue. The vessel is docked at Spanish Plaza, the Port of New Orleans.
Abita Music Company also has a music publishing division, representing the writers from The Rebirth Brass Band, and a select few others. Abita has negotiated film, TV, and recording licenses with The Oprah Winfrey Show, Universal Pictures, HBO, Rhino Records, and many others.
Abita Music has a budding TV commercial music production division, having recently composed and produced music for The New Orleans Zephyrs, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, and Copeland\'s Restaurant.
Jerry has performed internationally at the Umbria Jazz Festival, Umbria, Italy; New Orleans Food and Music Festival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; New Orleans Music Festival in Luxembourg, and performing at Schloss Esterhazy, (home of Joseph Hayden Hall), in Eisenstadt, Austria, and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, New Orleans, LA. Embree also performed a festival in Martinique with Sunpie and The Louisiana Sunspots.
Jerry has been married to his wife Darlene Embree since 2002. Like so many other New Orleanians, they were sidetracked with rebuilding their life after Hurricane Katrina. They commuted to New Orleans from Orlando, FL for 4 years, rebuilding two homes and two careers. As of December 2009 they returned home to New Orleans full time.
Jame Houlik, Sam Butera, Stan Getz, Paul Desmond, Sidney Bechet