Gerald Cleaver

Gerald Cleaver was born May 4, 1963 in Detroit and grew up there. He was inspired by John Cleaver his father who played the drums from an early age. He played the violin in elementary school, as well as trumpet in junior high and high school. He gained valuable experience as a teenager playing with Detroit jazz masters Lamont Hamilton, Earl Van Riper and Pancho Hagood. He was a music education major at the University of Michigan and was awarded a Jazz Study Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to study with Victor Lewis. In 1992, he graduated and started teaching in Detroit. He worked with Rodney Whitaker and A. Spencer Barefield as well as Donald Walden and Wendell Harrison. He was appointed assistant professor of Jazz Studies at Michigan State University in 1995. In 1998, he joined the jazz faculty of Michigan State University. In 2002, he moved to New York. He has recorded or performed with Franck Amsallem and Roscoe Mitchell, Henry Threadgill and Roscoe Mitchell. Cleaver has two recordings as a leader. Cleaver’s 2001 album Adjust (Fresh Sound, New Talent) was nominated by the Jazz Journalists Association in the Best Debut Recording category. Gerald Cleaver’s Detroit (FSNT) is his latest album. It pays tribute to his hometown as well as to the great Detroit drummers Roy Brooks and Lawrence Williams. Cleaver is the leader of Violet Hour, NiMbNl, and Uncle June. From

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