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Saxophonist/composer Gary Campbell's life as a jazz musician began in his hometown of IIndianapolis, Indiana, the city that spawned jazz greats such as J.J. Johnson, Freddie Hubbard, Slide Hampton, Wes, Buddy and Monk Montgomery, and many others.
As a teenager he was introduced to the jazz community through his teacher and mentor David Baker. Learning the ropes by sitting in at local clubs and jam sessions, he played with the likes of organist Mel Rhyne and guitarist Ted Dunbar. After brief stints at Indiana University and the University of Miami, Gary migrated to New York City. From the late 60's through the 70's he was active in the innovative, energetic, and notorious loft scene - the testing ground for dozens of creative young jazz musicians.
As a performing member of Free Life Communications, an organization of young jazz artists founded by David Liebman and Richie Beirach, Gary presented concerts of original music with John Abercrombie, Jan Hammer, Michael Moore, Bobby Moses, and many others. He appeared on records alongside Randy Brecker, John Abercrombie, Dan Wall, Adam Nussbaum, David Friesen, Ira Sullivan, and others. He has shared concert, festival and night club stages with (in addition to the above) John Scofield, Dave Liebman, Tom Harrell, Jaco Pastorius, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Andy Laverne, Red Rodney, James Moody, George Adams, Hank Crawford, Mose Allison, Conrad Herwig, Barry Ries, and is currently touring and recording with the Miroslav Vitous Quartet. Since moving to Miami in 1982 Gary has become a prominant figure on South Florida jazz scene - gigging and recording with jazz greats Ira Sullivan, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Bobby Thomas Jr., Andy Laverne, and the great Cuban drummer Ignacio Berroa. A Fulbright Scholar, Gary is a sought-after jazz educator both in the U.S. and in Europe. He taught for 12 years at the University of Miami (where he earned a Master of Music Degree in Jazz Performance), is now Associate Professor of Jazz Saxophone, and Coordinator of Jazz Studies at Florida International University in Miami.