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Biography

Gary Zellerbach is a well-respected Bay Area guitarist and proud to be a fifth generation native San Franciscan. He received his first guitar on his 13th birthday and has been playing ever since. While in high school, Gary studied jazz guitar with noted local instructor Dave Smith and played in numerous blues and rock bands around San Francisco.

Next stop was Brandeis University outside Boston, where Gary received his BA degree while continuing jazz guitar studies with Andy Caponigro and famed jazz guitarist and educator Mick Goodrick. Gary was fortunate to have some great musicians as classmates, including pianist George Kahn and bassist/music editor Carl Sealove. With local and Brandeis musicians, Gary formed a progressive jazz-fusion group called Spectrum that was managed by Ted Kurland. Spectrum played around the Northeast, including opening concerts and club dates for Gary Burton and Keith Jarrett.

Meanwhile, Gary's childhood friend and high school band mate, pianist George Michalski, moved to Hollywood and eventually lured Gary (and a number of his Brandeis friends) to Los Angeles to pursue his musical career. While in LA, Gary played popular music (mostly rock and R&B) to survive, while continuing to study jazz as much as possible. He played in the advanced jazz band at Dick Grove School of Music and took seminars with many top LA session players, such as Joe Diorio and Tommy ("I can sight read anything") Tedesco. A particular highlight at that time was attending a three day guitar workshop with Pat Martino at the Guitar Institute of Technology (now the Musicians Institute).  

One of Gary's first LA gigs was lead guitarist for Marvin Gaye's younger brother Frankie. After that, he appeared on American Bandstand and toured the US with singer/song-writer Parker McGee, opening up large concert venues for performers such as Dolly Parton and Billy Joel. Returning to LA, Gary reunited with old buddies Michalski and Sealove to form the classic rock band Michalski & Oosterveen ("M&O"), which was almost immediately "discovered" by movie producer (and Barbara Streisand's boy friend at the time) Jon Peters. Peters immediately signed the band to a two album deal with Columbia Records and had them perform the song "Burn" on the movie Eyes of Laura Mars. (Through this connection, they had the great fortune to meet and record with Streisand, and she went on to record several of Michalski's songs, including the title track for The Main Event and the tune The Man I Love.)

Unfortunately, as with many Hollywood tales, things didn't end well for M&O (it's a long story -- it's even mentioned in a book), and Gary moved back to San Francisco, putting his musical career on hold.

In 1979, Gary founded the Holos Gallery, the first hologram gallery in the Western United States and soon-to-become one of the world's largest hologram distributors. 

After a successful run in the hologram business, Gary decided it was time to put his obvious talent with computers to work. He joined Sun Microsystems in 1997 and worked as Manager of the Sun Download Center and a Senior Project Manager for the next 13 years.  In February, 2010, Sun was purchased by Oracle Corporation. Gary left Oracle in June, 2010, and has been playing music full-time ever since!

Around 2005, Gary joined Clark Suprynowicz's Berkeley Jazz Workshop, a great place to meet talented musicians (and to play and study jazz). Since then, he's built a large network of musicians he works with regularly and is happy to report his talents are in ever-increasing demand.

Gary performs and records regularly around the Bay Area with musicians including Al LazardGerald Beckett, Steve McQuarry, vocalists Laura Wiley, Beth Marlin, and Lynn Billig, and many more. Recent venues played include premier jazz venues such as Yoshi's San Francisco, the 57th Street Gallery in Oakland, the SFJAZZ Center, and dozens more clubs, restaurants, and private events.

Gary also leads his own trio and quartet and is available for any type of musical engagement.

Discography

2017

"Oblivion
Gerald Beckett
Summit Records

2014

"Blackbird"
Beth Marlin and Friends
Bambaker Records

"The Messenger
Gerald Beckett
Summit Records

2012

"Contingency Plans"
Laura Austin Wiley

2011

"Standard Flute"
Gerald Beckett
Summit Records

"Close Your Eyes"
The Laura Wiley Quartet

1979

"M&O" 
Michalski & Oosterveen
Columbia Records
(Under the stage name of "Gary Allen")

1978

"Eyes of Laura Mars" Original Soundtrack
Columbia Records
(Under the stage name of "Gary Allen")

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