Gerard showed his first interest in what was to become his chosen instrument, the trumpet, at nine, attributing his early determination to become a trumpeter to hearing a Roy Eldridge solo from a Jazz at the Philharmonic live date.
In 1983, at the age of eleven, he became NYJO’s youngest trumpeter. During the 80’s there were many young jazz musicians such as Courtney Pine, Tommy Smith and Jason Rebello all making their mark – in his time with NYJO Gerard played with many of this new generation, as well as some of the more established names on the UK jazz scene.
Gerard’s wide variety of experience led to an invite to form a working relationship with celebrated jazz pianist Stan Tracey. At the age of 18, Gerard recorded a duet on Stan’s live album at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, released on Bluenote Records, which received much critical acclaim.
At around the same time he also began to work with Charlie Watts, the Rolling Stones’ drummer who has a great love of jazz, making an album with Pete King in homage to Charlie Parker. Subsequently Gerard made many albums with Watts and going on to write, play, tour and produce for him for many years.
Gerard won the trumpet category of the British Jazz Awards four times, as well as their Rising Star Award.
He was Head of Jazz studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London from 1999 to 2010 and is Head of the Brass Department at the Jazz Institute in Berlin. He lectures throughout Europe in Jazz studies at Conservatoire level.
Gerard lives with his family in Copenhagen, where he is trumpet soloist with the Danish Radio Big Band, a position he loves, as the band is one of the finest in the world and the environment for making new music in Denmark and the Nordic countries is positively