It’s a little concert you might have heard of – Woodstock Music and Art Festival in 1969. When Jimi Hendrix took the stage and pointed to the crowd of thousands, sitting right behind him was his percussionist; Gerardo Velez.
Gerardo “Jerry” Velez said,
“It was my birthday, and my first professional performance, and I was playing with the greatest guitarist in rock and roll history Jimi Hendrix….what a weekend!”
“The right place at the right time” has guided Gerardo’s legacy in life. Mr. Velez went on to perform with such luminaries as David Bowie, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Destiny’s Child, Stevie Nicks, Chaka Khan, Marc Anthony and countless others. Then he was poised for greatness as an original member of the Best Selling Contemporary Jazz Groups of all time Spyro Gyra, garnering multiple Gold and Platinum recording awards, also best new group of 1978, several number one hit songs, Billboard Magazine’s Jazz Band of the 80’s and 14 Grammy Nominations.
Mr. Velez’s event company Gerardo Velez Productions (GVP) has been producing hundreds of shows and events since 1981. Nationally and internationally creating events, gala’s, concerts, festivals for such clients as New York Stock Exchange, The Security Traders Association of New York, Bank of America, HBO, Comedy Central, SAP Software, Time Warner, Donna Karan, Chopard Jewelry, Mirimax Films, and Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino just to mention a few.
To fulfill the need for change and spectacle in Las Vegas Mr. Velez was empowered to create the concepts, music & choreography as Artistic and Music Director for several new establishments that became the places to be and be seen; The China Grill, Rock Lobster , Red Square and the famous Rum Jungle which was voted the most popular venue for three consecutive years in Las Vegas at the famed Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. Mr. Velez also performed and promoted at venues such as MGM Grand, Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Harley Davidson Café, Luxor, Rio, and Tao Resorts.
Mr. Velez’s charitable work endeavors have been legendary having collaborated with President William Clinton, Mikhail Gorbachev, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Queen Nora, Lady Ferguson Duchess of York, Dan Rather, Bill Cosby, Michael Jackson, Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Russian Prime Minister Dimitri Medvedev and other worldly power brokers.
Mr. Velez created the concepts wrote the treatment and episodes , original music and had optioned for development several situation comedies to Embassy Television owned by Norman Lear the creator of “All in the Family”, “The Jefferson’s” , “Who’s the Boss”, “Different Strokes” and other groundbreaking and award winning television programs.
Through his 5 decades in entertainment, Mr. Velez has been the spokesperson for such music related companies as, Latin Percussion, Roland Electronics, Zildjian Cymbal Co., Rhythm Tech, Remo Percussion, Yamaha drums and sound equipment. His gift is his ability to enhance and represent a manufactures product with clarity and charisma which has kept him in high demand for clinics, lectures, and performances.
Seven (7) Grammy Nominations
Six (6) Gold and Platinum Recordings
Three (3) Amex Gold Reel Awards
Percussionist on over 200 celebrity recordings
Brief list of famous people Mr.Velez had the pleasure of working with:
Prime Minister of USSR Mikhaill Gorbachev
President Bill Clinton
Finance Minister Mr.Putin of Russia
Senator Hillary Clinton
Queen Nora of Jordan
Kimora Lee Simmons
Star Jones Reynolds
Jane and Burt Bacharach
Ronald O. Perelman
Mary J. Blige
Les Moonves CEO of CBS
Sean “Diddy” Combs
Tracey and Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds
Gloria and Emilio Estefan
Marie Claudinette and Wyclef Jean
Sir Elton John
Princess Yasmin Aga Khan
Shawn and Larry King
Thalia and Tommy Mottola
Frances W. Preston
Carol Bayer Sager
Valerie and Ashford Simpson
Melania and Donald J. Trump
Marcia Gay Harden
Peter Boyle – Frankenstein – Egar Winters
Sir Paul McCarthy
The Casts of: