Drummer Gerry Gibbs was born in New York, but spent several years in San Antonio in the early 2000s. “I had met a girl,” he explained onstage at a recent gig in San Antonio at Jazz, TX. But it was another relationship that would prove to be professionally fortuitous for both Gibbs and jazz fans alike.
Remembering that time, Gibbs says “somebody [in San Antonio] told me about this guy named Rene Saenz.” A sax player with a big voice on tenor, Saenz and Gibbs hit it off on a 90-minute car ride together, without even hearing each other play. The gigs would come, like a residency at Carmens de la Calle (at its original location), and working with pianist Aaron Prado and former radio manager Ben Donnelly to revitalize Trinity University’s radio station KRTU with a new jazz format.
Gibbs is the son of vibraphonist Terry Gibbs, and found his own voice with a new style of music. “He came from an era… from the bebop era. And [in the 1970s] there was fusion, and all of that music that he was not part of… wasn’t interested in.” Gibbs’ nickname, “The Thrasher” could be used to describe the intense playing style he brings to his instrument.
Now based once again in New York, Gerry Gibbs visited San Antonio in June, 2018 for a gig with his old buddies Aaron Prado and Rene Saenz, and the Aaron Prado Sextet. In this episode of “Live At Jazz, TX,” you’ll hear them stretch out (and we mean stretch—one tune lasts 20 minutes!) on some Prado originals, as well as music of Don Pullen and Gene Perla.
Listen in to Texas Public Radio for Live At Jazz, TX on Saturday nights at 7:00, or preview the show in the audio link below.