Gary Tu

Gary Tu

BandJazz

Modern jazz guitar driven by strong melody and rhythm. [Gary Tu--Look East is]"A timeless guitar performance that ably combines mood and technique with some splendid improvisation." -20th Century Guitar

Biography

I was born on October 17, 1976 in Taipei, Taiwan. My family immigrated to the US in 1984 just after I graduated from the second grade. We lived in Queens, NY for a while where I attended PS126. I couldn't speak a word of English at the time. In fourth grade, we moved to Corona, CA. The summer after fourth grade my dad's job was transferred to Chicago and I've been here ever since.

My musical training began as a toddler. My mom taught my brother Mark and me to sing songs with choreographed moves when we were just little kids. I was also a chorus/choir kid from the fifth grade on. I remember singing so loudly in fifth grade chorus that the other kids in the class gave me funny looks. Later on, I sang in school musicals, talent shows, and even operatic productions. Towards the end of high school I had performed Le Nozze di Figaro and exerpts from Carmen and Don Giovanni. I would continue singing into my freshman year of college.

I started playing guitar at the age of 13. I begged and pleaded with my parents to buy me an electric guitar. It was a Cort with a crackled finish. By age 15, I was giving lessons to the kids in the neighborhood. my favorite band at the time was Motley Crue.

Around age 16 I heard my first jazz album. I think it was Miles' first Quintet. A bass player friend of mine also introduced me to an album with Jaco Pastorius on it called Bright Size Life. I heard Pat Metheny for the first time.

I began checking out every jazz CD and vinyl I could get my hands on at the library and dubbing them onto cassettes at home. Some of these included: Miles, Coltrane, Monk, Bird, Blue Note stuff, Charlie Christian, Jim Hall, Wes Montgomery, Sonny Rollins, Ornette, Metheny, Scofield, Mike Stern, Bill Frisell, John Abercrombie, etc.

In 1994 at age 17, I entered Roosevelt University as a double major in Voice Performance and Jazz Guitar. The following year I transferred to University of Miami for three semesters. I then returned to Roosevelt University in 1997, and in 1999 I completed my Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Performance.

Upon my return to Chicago, I began to pursue gigs for my trio and picking up work as a sideman. This allowed me the opportunity to work with some of Chicago's best musicians and form some great musical friendships.

Currently, I teach at Morton College, The Music Room, Music Arts School, and The National Guitar Workshop.

Some of my past performances include:

1999 With Ira Sullivan @ Roosevelt University Jazz Workshop.
2000 East Coast tour with an indie rock band.
2002 "My America" Asian-American tribute to the victims of 9/11 in Times Square, NYC.
2003 Chicago Korean Street Festival.
2004 Taste of Chicago with Gareth Woods.
2004 Grand opening of Millenium Park with Orange Alert.
2005 Rochester International Jazz Festival with Orange Alert.
2006 Jazz In The Park Milwaukee with Orange Alert.
2006 Chicago Asian-American Jazz Festival.

Discography

My new CD "Look East" is available on CD Baby, iTunes, Rhapsody, SonyConnect, MP3tunes, GreatIndieMusic, OD2, Flip, MusicNow.

Look East can be heard on:
WDCB (Glen Ellyn, IL)
WWSP (Stevens Point, WI)
WESM (U of Maryland)
WAER (Syracuse, NY)
WAMC (Albany, NY)
KNTU (Denton, TX)
KSMF (Ashland, OR)
KBEM (Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN)
KEOS (College Station, TX)
CHRW (London, Ontario)
CFUV (Victoria, British Columbia)
www.jazzexcursion.com

Set List

Look East:

1. Look East
2. The Cube
3. The Road To The Sky
4. Sun Rise
5. Passing Solitude
6. Falling Grace
7. Airegin
8. Simone
9. Milestones