Gary W. Keller

Title/Position: Professor of Professional Practice, Jazz Saxophone

Profile:

What would you say are the outstanding highlights of your professional life?

My 26 year association with the Frost School of Music jazz program, and the successes of all my former students

Founding the Miami Saxophone Quartet

My association with International Association of Schools of Jazz

In short, all the opportunities I have had to perform and record with many of the world’s finest musicians. Touring with legends Woody Herman and Frank Sinatra are definitely highlights, as well as and performing and recording with many of the world’s great electric bassists in the Jaco Pastorius Big Band.


What advice would you give an aspiring young musician?

For those hesitant about embarking on a musical career: be brutally honest with yourself; then, if you choose to proceed, work hard and stick it out. For the gifted ones: being young and talented doesn’t pay the rent.


What’s on your iPod?

My iPod has at least one thousand songs on it—mostly jazz of all shapes and sizes, and some classical, ranging from Baroque through the mid 20th century.


What is the relevance of music in modern society?

Music remains the most universally communicative of all the arts. Human beings need music.


Gary Keller is “Admired and respected as a virtuoso performer and world class educator.”

—Saxophone Journal


“Keller’s tunes are an exemplary bunch…A thinkers delight…extremely well done.”

—Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD

Career Highlights:

A versatile saxophonist, Gary Keller has toured with the Woody Herman Thundering Herd and performed and/or recorded with numerous prominent jazz artists, including

Kenny Werner

Billy Hart

Maria Schneider

Jim McNeely

Ira Sullivan

Manny Album

David Baker

the late Jaco Pastorius

Word of Mouth Revisited Big Band

American Jazz Philharmonic

In the classical realm, Keller has performed and/or recorded with the

Florida Philharmonic

New World Symphony

Naples Philharmonic

St. Petersburg (Russia) Philharmonic

Festival Orchestra of Santo Domingo

Chamber Music Palm Beach

Frost Symphony Orchestra

Keller’s debut solo recording, Blues For An Old New Age, has gained widespread critical acclaim, including a near perfect review by the prestigious Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD.

He has appeared in clubs, jazz festivals, and presented guest lectures at universities throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan. Keller is the founder of the Miami Saxophone Quartet, which has released three CDs on the Fourtitude label.

A long-time Miami freelance musician, Keller has played for numerous national and international recordings, television shows, Broadway pit orchestras. He has also backed scores of prominent entertainers, including

Frank Sinatra

Tony Bennett

Johnny Mathis

Natalie Cole

Lou Rawls

Mel Torme

In addition, Keller has authored the text The Jazz Chord/Scale Handbook (Advance Music) and has been featured in articles in

Woodwind Player

Saxophone Journal

IAJE Journal

Saxophone Symposium

Lecturer (Saxophone), Prof. Keller holds a B.M. degree from the State University of New York at Fredonia, and a M.M. from the University of Miami; his teachers include Joe Allard, David Liebman, Pat Labarbara, and Bob Mover.

Short Biography:

Gary Keller (jazz saxophone) is professor of professional practice in the Department of Studio Music and Jazz at the University of Miami Frost School of Music. A versatile saxophonist, Gary Keller has toured with the Woody Herman Thundering Herd and performed and/or recorded with such prominent jazz artists as Kenny Werner, Billy Hart, Maria Schneider, Jim McNeely, Ira Sullivan, and the late Jaco Pastorius. In the classical realm, Keller has performed and/or recorded with the Florida Philharmonic, New World Symphony, and others. His debut solo CD, Blues For An Old New Age, garnered widespread critical acclaim.  He has appeared in clubs, jazz festivals, and presented guest lectures at universities throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan.  Keller is the founder of the Miami Saxophone Quartet and authored the The Jazz Chord/Scale Handbook (Advance Music). A long-time Miami freelance musician, Keller has played on numerous recordings, television shows, in Broadway pit orchestras, and backed scores of prominent entertainers including Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis, Natalie Cole, Lou Rawls, and Mel Torme. Prof. Keller earned a B.M. from the State University of New York at Fredonia and a M.M. from the University of Miami.


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"Keller’s round, burnished tenor…is firmly rooted in the jazz tradition with frequent nods and winks to the blues." —Derek Taylor, Cadence magazine


Contact Information:

  • Gary W. Keller
  • Phone: (305) 284-2161
  • Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
  • Office Location: 235 Foster

Mailing Address:

  • Frost School of Music
  • P.O. Box 248165
  • Coral Gables, FL 33124-7610

Courier Address:

  • Frost School of Music
  • Foster Bldg
  • 235
  • Coral Gables, FL 33146