Oral History Information
Gerry Labelle’s first musical instrument was the alto saxophone; later the tenor and soprano saxophone remained his main instruments, and he later played C Flute, piccolo & Alto flute. Gerry studied music with Frank Mella in Montreal, Canada. He has traveled across Canada and the United States with a group called “Illustration”, and then moved on to jazz with the great piano player, Marius Cultier, and bassist, Alex Bernard, touring the west Indies mainly in Martinique & Guadeloupe. He returned to Montreal playing with drummer, Claude Ranger. This is when he met Elvin Jones & Dave Leibman, whom later played with Miles Davis. He then was among a small group of jazz musicians following the footsteps of John Coltrane. He later worked has a clinician for different companies for synthesizers and was hired by Yamaha in the late 1970s to the 80's to help improve their pro band instruments. Gerry provided many clinics for the company and eventually became the Band Division National Sales & Marketing Manager for Canada. Gerry was surprised to find out that John Coltrane had recorded with a Yamaha saxophone in Japan.