About Jerry Drake

          Maspeth, NY Jerry Drake’s interest in music began in early childhood. Both of his

parents played the piano. His dad played by ear, and his mother only played if the music was in

front of her. When his parents realized that their son had an ear for music, they hired a piano

teacher for 11-year old Jerry. Prior to that, as a young child, Jerry played in a park across the

street from a trumpet studio. His love for the sound of a trumpet eventually influenced him to

switch from piano lessons to trumpet instruction. During that time, he also sang in the chorus in


          According to Drake, “In my late teens, I began playing in local bands in New York City and

Long Island. Most of the musicians in these bands were much older than I was, which gave me the

opportunity to learn the tunes in the 30’s and 40’s. At 19, I added valve trombone to my

performance. In 1961, the draft board caught up with me and I was drafted into the Army. I spent

the next two years playing tuba and trumpet in the Army band.”

          Following discharge, Jerry spent five years as a music student in Chicago, graduating in 1970

with a Master’s in Music Education from DePaul University. At that point, his teaching career

began, and continues today. In 1973, Jerry launched a four-piece cover band playing in clubs,

private parties, and special events. The band grew to six pieces in the 70’s and 80’s, and so

did the variety of music. The group played standard, Latin, disco, rock, and a variety of ethnic music.

          Jerry Drake played 150-200 gigs annually for over twenty years while teaching full-time

for the NY Department of Education. Jerry took a 2-year break to do freelance work music

work exclusively in the 90’s. In 1995, he helped organize and also fronted the “New York Big Band,”

which continues today. This is a repeat performance for Jerry. In 1987, he helped to organize, and

also fronted “The Serenaders in Blue Big Band,” which is also active today in the New York Area.

In 1998, Jerry kicked off “The Front Page Big Band”–a highly successful band playing mostly in

the Manhattan area.

          The group has recorded 3 CD’s so far. “It is my intention is to present original material using

the traditional big band setting (3 trumpets, 4 trombones, 5 saxes & rhythm). The lyrics must

be understandable. The music and arrangements must be listenable and danceable. Most

importantly, the music must contain all these elements while working to communicate ideas

and emotional power to the listener.”