The Wayne Pearcy/ Aaron Gratzmiller Jazz Quintet

The Wayne Pearcy/ Aaron Gratzmiller Jazz Quintet (PGJQ) is a project aimed at presenting the tradition of hard-bop jazz from the perspective of a new generation of musicians. PGJQ performs original compositions by members of the group, which combine elements of modern music with the energetic and soulful sound of classic jazz quintets. The result is a performance that both lifelong Jazz-buffs and casual listeners of all ages can enjoy.

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Over the Edge

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“Over the Edge” is the title of the PGJQ’s debut album. It contains 10 original compositions individually written over the course of nearly a decade by co-leaders Wayne Pearcy (Trumpet) and Aaron Gratzmiller (Saxophone). Joining them is an outstanding rhythm section comprised of Matt Savage on Piano, Greg Toro on Upright Bass, and Fabio Rojas on Drum Set. It was recorded on October 4th and 5th, 2017 at Keep the Edge Studios in Quincy, MA, and was engineered by Keith Asack.

The objective in making “Over the Edge” was to record a contemporary sounding full-length album that continues in the tradition of straight ahead Jazz. The music is constructed using Bebop and Blues vocabulary while often experimenting with modern forms and improvisation techniques. The goal of each person involved with this project was to create an energetic, soulful, nuanced, and somewhat unpredictable experience for the listener. "Over the Edge" will be available later this year on CD Baby, iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon, and Google play (plus many more) later this year.

About Wayne

Wayne Pearcy is a New England area trumpeter and composer who has won numerous accolades, perhaps most known by the jazz community for placing second globally as a soloist at the ITG College Jazz Competition in 2011. His rich tone and lyrical playing style have earned him studies with some of the heavy hitters in Jazz, including Tiger Okoshi, Darren Barrett, and Wynton Marsalis.

Besides jazz, Wayne has a strong interest in classical music, and he works to improve his technique as a soloist by memorizing cornet literature from the early twentieth century. Wayne strongly believes that the performance and study of classical music is important to the success of all musicians. Therefore, it has been a privilege for him to be a part of Boston Landmarks Orchestra’s educational outreach team since 2013.

Also a strong advocate for assistive technology, Wayne’s work as a student and staff member at Berklee College of Music has helped the renowned institution become a top destination for visually impaired music students from around the world. He is active in the community through his service on the board of Friends in Art, an American Council of the Blind (ACB) affiliate group, which offers scholarships to students of the fine arts.

Wayne profile

About Aaron

Aaron Gratzmiller is a saxophonist, arranger, and private instructor based in Boston, MA. His energetic playing and stylistic versatility has helped him become one of the most active performers in New England, sharing the stage with notable artists such as Kurt Elling, Antonio Hart, Robert Villera, and Matt Savage among others. Aaron also teaches private lessons at Cambridge Arts Academy (Somerville, MA) and North Main Music (Nashua, NH), and is the artistic director for the New England Jazz Enrichment Foundation.

Aaron grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, where he began studying the piano at the age of 6. A few years later, he began playing the tenor saxophone in his elementary school band, and quickly developed an interest in Jazz. He continued taking lessons on both the saxophone and the piano through High School, when he began playing with Pittsburgh area musicians. He later majored in music at both Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania and Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, graduating from Berklee with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Performance.

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