Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Negbaur, Gary (Lowell)
Negbaur, Gary (Lowell), pianist, singer, composer, b. New York, NY, 18 January 1967. Raised by his piano-teacher mother (born Babette Grimes, 1930) and his father (Hal Negbaur, born 1928), Gary was the youngest of three children (brother Brad Negbaur, b. 1965 -a singer; sister Gail Negbaur, b. 1962).
Gary studied piano and music theory at the Diller Quaile School of Music with Mallory Miller. (His mother teaches at this school as well.) His high school years were also enhanced by two summers at Camp Encore/Coda where he began to study jazz and 4 years of participation in his high school jazz band under the direction of Aaron Bell. After performing a graduation recital, he went off to Harvard University in 1985. Although not a music major, Gary studied piano with Dr. James Romeo (1 year) and Harvey Diamond (2 years) as well as taking composition classes with Prof. Ivan Tcherepnin, Prof. Graeme Boone and Mr. Roger Neill. His studies were highlighted with piano master classes with Ellis Marsalis and Harry Connick Jr. as well as a summer studying with Dr. Billy Taylor at the Jazz in July Workshop in Improvisation at U. Mass Amherst. At Harvard, he received the annual John Harvard Scholarship for "academic excellence" from 1986-1989 and graduated Magn a Cum Laude in 1989. He was also awarded the David McCord prize for "unusual creative talent." After graduation, he remained in Cambridge for a year as a music tutor at Leverett House, one of Harvard's residential colleges. He released his first recording of original songs in 1990 and also contributed music to the feature-film An American Summer. He moved to Austin, Texas in 1990 and studied piano with Prof. Jeff Helmer and voice with John Aielli during his three-year stay. He played in lots of clubs, appeared on Austin Community Television and wrote songs. He received a scholarship from the Berklee College of Music in Boston, and spent the summer of 1992 studying piano with Jeffrey Correll and lyric writing with Pat Pattison. He returned to Texas and garnered the Best Blues Song Award from the Austin Songwriter's Association in 1993 and participated in the renowned South by Southwest Music festival during that same year. He returned to New York in 1993. The positive reception of his CD Let Me Explain led to a series of national tours, radio interviews, and newspaper articles. It also led to recording gigs as a sideman including playing keyboards on Tom Ze's Fabrication Defect (1998). Beginning in 1997, his frequent gigs around the country were soon complemented by gigs on cruise ships. These cruise ship gigs called on Gary to focus on playing standards in addition to his well-received original material. Around this time, he began studying voice with Jacquelyne Presti and to further exploration of the jazz vocal repertoire. This study led him to discover that many of the great jazz vocal songs come from theater music. As he delved into this rich vein of composition, his own writing began to turn in this direction. In 2001, his one-act musical Librarians in Love premiered. It was recently accepted into the well-known FRINGE theater festival and will be performed again in the summer of 2002. He is already at work on his next project: a full length musical called Beer Goggles. He also continues to gig extensively as a soloist and with his trio.
Recordings and compositions:
Let me explain (1994); "Erev Shel Shoshanim" (GN composition based on a traditional folk Song) for the Paraparim Dance Ensemble: Mulberry Street Theatre (NY, NY): 12/1998, Karmiel International Dance Festival (Karmiel, Israel): 7/1998, Portland Harbor Festival (Portland, ME): 6/1998; Tom Ze: Fabrication Defect (1998); Sit Down You're Rockin' the Boat (1999); Lucky, the pussycat club (1999); The Prescients: Venus to Earth (9199); Cinema 8, Cinema 8 (2001); Unreleased Live Recording of the Gary Negbaur Quintet at Excello Studios (2001)
Radio and television broadcasts:
The Gary Negbaur trio on Austin Cable Television (1993)
Gary Negbaur on Austin Cable Television (1992)
Gary Negbaur (1990)
(Lots of radio interviews and newspaper articles.)
Sincerely Yours (2002) (An Ann Reilly short film release [included compositions by GN] which will be broadcast on www.hypnotic.com)
An American Summer, (1990) (includes compositions by GN, Broadcast on HBO, Cinemax etc.)
Beer Goggles, a full length musical (2003)
Librarians in Love, a one-act musical (2001)