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Every morning, world-renowned jazz bassist, composer, and educator, Bruce Gertz, makes himself a cup of coffee and sits at the baby grand piano of his Melrose, MA living room. Surrounded by quirky plants, records of his esteemed inspirations, and albums of his own, Gertz composes something every day, regardless of the day’s events ahead. He says, "Sometimes I only get a short idea but that can be the seed of a beautiful composition." His counterparts applaud him for his restless commitment to self-improvement.


        Gertz taped his first date as a bandleader in 1991, and has shown a consistency that the vast majority of his better-known 


contemporaries have failed to match. Ask him about his evolution and he will note that he has become a “less selfish” musician over time, one more aware of his listeners, but this has not led him to ‘dumb’ his music down or to momentarily pursue fashionable trends. As with his previous efforts, the music he creates here has the power to evoke feeling, thought, and motion. He continues to work at it, and the fruit of his efforts is unmistakable every time he plays.                     – Bob Blumenthal, Boston Globe

Gertz is known for his superb mastery of the upright bass and was named “Outstanding Bassist” by Boston Music Awards. What some fans don’t know is that he grew up playing electric bass from the age of 14 and still plays (and teaches) the electric quite often. His extraordinary contribution to music education has earned him multiple recognition awards from The International Association of Jazz Educators and the Jazz Education Network. He has been serving as a Professor of Bass at Berklee College of Music since 1976. Additional educator credits include serving on the advisory board of the International Society of Bassists and as an adjudicator at the Clark Terry UNH Jazzer's Festival.


Gertz has performed and recorded with such artists as Gary Burton, Jerry Bergonzi, John Abercrombie, Joey Calderazzo, Kenny Werner, Mick Goodrick, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Billy Hart, Bill Frisell, Bob Berg, George Cables, Gil Evans, Tom Harrell, Jon Hendricks, Diane Schuur, Dave Brubeck, George Garzone, Mike Stern, Larry Coryell, Joe Lovano, Cab Calloway, Maynard Ferguson, Count Basie and many others.


He is an author of six books and contributing editor to Bass World Magazine. As a bandleader, Gertz has recorded more than twenty albums. His 2017 quartet release, Blue Cube received four stars in Downbeat, December, 2017.

Singularity, solo bass received 3.5 stars in the same issue. Other recent recordings include Blue Shadow, Trio-Now, Tone of Spirit, solo bass, 2017, Running in the Background, 2020 and Gently Said, 2022 Bruce Gertz Quintet, In Real Time, solo pizzicato bass. 2023, Waltz 1/19, single, Quintet 2023


Bruce's new solo recordings are like meditations that vibrate in the solar plexus and resonate through your being. His command of the instrument and imagination are an elixir for being transported to the pure music channel. Bravo Bruce  

- Jerry Bergonzi



Top Ten Jazz Tunes

2013, "Glad You're Hear"

2014, "The Reach"



Top Ten Jazz/Swing/Modern Songs

2011 April, "Are We There Yet"



Outstanding Contribution to Jazz Education

2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2015




Outstanding Contribution to Jazz Education

1994, 1998, 2001, 2007





Popular Award Recipient

1985 – present


Billboard Song Contest Award

1999, "The Reach"

1992, "Blueprint"


1997 – Composition Award


Outstanding Bassist Award

1987, 1988, 1990, 1991



1992 – Jazz Performance Grant


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