Raised in New York City, Geri was influenced by many of it's rich sounds and rhythms, from Jazz and R&B to Latin, Middle Eastern and Celtic. All these musical forms played a part in influencing Geri's unique singing style. Being the daughter of an airline executive gave Geri the opportunity to travel around the world. 'I was like a sponge, absorbing all the sights and sounds of all the cultures I had the privilege to encounter first-hand.' It would be impossible to determine how many different types of musical sounds entered my subconscious when I was a kid.' Geri studied with a classical vocal coach for a time, but found herself increasingly intrigued by the New York Jazz scene. In the late 1980's, this led her to Barry Harris' Jazz Cultural Theater, which was alive and well at the time. She regularly attended the revered piano master's vocal workshops. 'I practically lived in that space - I just wanted to spend as much time working with Barry as I could.' The singer listened and learned and practiced as much as possible with the master. By this time, Geri had also developed a healthy taste for Brazilian music. She traveled frequently to Brazil and found herself drawn more and more towards singing Brazilian rhythms. 'The time I spent in Brazil and the richness of the music affected me deeply on so many levels that I knew it would always be a part of me as a singer and songwriter. The feeling of experiencing the essence of that culture is difficult to articulate - except through music.' Geri's first gigs in New York City found her performing Brazilian and Jazz standards in venues like The Nuyorican Poet's Café, Amazonas, and the St. Mark's Bar. ' I had a great time and learned so much from all the musicians in that scene - it was fun to dig deep and find new and exciting ways to interpret the music.' It was at this time that Geri started collaborating with pianist Isaac ben Ayala and guitarist Saul Rubin. Knowing that she wanted to expand on her musical experience, Geri started writing songs, integrating her many influences into her singing style. 'It's the most liberating feeling to bare your soul in a song that came out of you.' Her songs are very intimate and personal. 'I try to re-create the mood and feeling in the song that I felt in whatever experience I write about.' Her self-titled CD primarily reflects the influence that Jazz and Brazilian music have had in shaping Geri's diverse musical fabric. It's also the result of her fruitful collaboration with Isaac ben Ayala and Saul Rubin, with whom she performs regularly. Geri continues to explore her favorite musical influences in her singing songwriting. Look out for a performance if you're in New York City.
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