Jazz legend Jerry Granelli, of Charlie Brown Christmas fame, dies at 80


Jerry Granelli, jazz legend and gifted music trainer greatest recognized for his light drumming on the soundtrack to A Charlie Brown Christmas, has died. He was 80.

A message posted by the Jerry Granelli Facebook web page on Tuesday mentioned he was hospitalized in Halifax in December with inner bleeding and spent two months in intensive care. Although he recovered sufficient to ultimately go residence, the ordeal exacerbated different long-term well being points, the submit mentioned.

Granelli died Tuesday morning at his residence in Halifax.

Colin MacKenzie, Granelli’s supervisor, collaborator and the director of a movie about him, mentioned Granelli’s persona drew folks to him and saved them there.

“We would go right into a city and he would stroll into a store or a restaurant, by no means having been there earlier than, and he would go away and all people cherished him, like, he would make pals with all people.

“He had this magnetism and this charisma that you simply simply, you already know, you needed to be an element of.”

Longtime pal and CBC music producer Jeff Reilly, who has recorded three albums with Granelli, known as the jazz large a “wealthy character.”

Granelli’s musical profession spanned greater than 60 years and has been acknowledged by the Grammy Awards, the Junos and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. (Stefanie Marcus)

“He could possibly be extraordinarily type and heat and beneficiant, however different occasions he could possibly be actually demanding and, as an example, proper to the purpose,” Reilly advised the CBC’s Information Morning Halifax. “But I believe that was all within the spirit of making an attempt to get one of the best out of others.”

Granelli’s drumming profession spanned greater than 60 years and resulted in additional than 30 albums.

Granelli “just about performed with all people” as a session musician, Reilly mentioned, and carried out with the likes of the Grateful Dead, Lou Rawls, Mose Allison, Sly Stone and, of course, Vince Guaraldi. 

He lived in San Francisco, Colorado and Seattle and ultimately moved to Halifax within the late 1980s.

His compositions have been acknowledged by the East Coast Music Awards, the Junos, the Grammy Awards, the National Library of Congress Sound Archives, and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, which inducted him for his position within the psychedelic outfit Light Sound Dimension, or LSD.

Granelli was a pure at drumming at a younger age and gained many music competitions. (Submitted by Jerry Granelli)

As a drummer, Granelli had unbelievable vary and a singular sound, Reilly mentioned.

“He might get sounds out of the drums that no one else might — and intensely refined as much as, you already know, enormous, loud, highly effective blasts of vitality.”

He was greatest recognized for his efficiency of A Charlie Brown Christmas with the Vince Guaraldi Trio, recorded in someday over three hours. The TV particular was launched in 1965 and has been broadcast yearly to generations of youngsters and followers.

Granelli carried out in A Charlie Brown Christmas as half of the Vince Guaraldi Trio. (Walt Disney Television through Getty Images)

For a few years, Granelli refused to carry out that music as a result of he did not need to be outlined by it, however he later made peace with the legacy.

Reilly mentioned he as soon as requested Granelli if it bothered him that amid his huge and various musical profession, he was principally recognized for that one album.

“He mentioned, ‘No, I do not thoughts at all.’ And he mentioned, ‘I am grateful.'”

In latest years, Granelli started touring a dwell model known as Tales from A Charlie Brown Christmas.

“It was for him a means of giving again,” said Reilly. “And folks cherished him for it and he cherished to do it. He was like, you already know, Father Christmas.”

Granelli at his studio in Halifax. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)

Granelli was additionally a sought-after trainer who taught in Berlin, southeast Asia, Italy and throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Keith Mullins, a Cape Breton singer-songwriter who studied with Granelli, mentioned his trainer was an excellent, stunning and hard-working particular person, however his educating fashion might typically be “militant.” Mullins recalled one time when he was drumming with a funk band and Granelli needed him to play a selected means.

“He bought proper up in my face and he was like screaming at me at the highest of his lungs, ‘Play on the 2 and 4!'”

His reward as a trainer was to assist college students “get completely actual” of their efficiency, Reilly mentioned.

“He was capable of get folks to the center of it. I believe he taught folks how one can hear.”

Granelli was a practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism, which Reilly mentioned knowledgeable his musical follow.

Granelli practised Tibetan Buddhism, which helped inform his musical follow. (Scott Irvine c. 2019)

“It was contemplative meditation from the Buddhist custom, the concept of being within the second and studying to let go of your personal want to make it in your picture and discover ways to take heed to what was really happening and reply to the music that’s simply there.”

On Sunday, simply two days earlier than his demise, Granelli participated in a artistic music workshop known as Art in Everyday Life, hosted by the TD Halifax Jazz Festival.

A Facebook submit on Tuesday attributed to his son, J. Anthony Granelli, mentioned Granelli will likely be missed by his three youngsters and 5 grandchildren.



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