Jerry Grant began his career as a jazz/rock studio musician in Detroit, contributing to Motown tracks, while composing and performing in the concert medium. He attended Wayne State University where he received a B.S. degree in music and subsequently attended the Detroit Institute of Musical Arts for graduate study. He attended USC for graduate study and received a Masters degree in composition at CSU Northridge. Private study on Saxophone and Flute for 6 years with Larry Teal, five years of private study with George Tremblay in composition, two years of private study in composition with Ruth Wylie and one year of private study in conducting with Lawrence Christensen round out his musical training.
While serving in the U.S. Army, Jerry was chosen for the faculty at the band training school. Entering the All Army entertainment contest, he became a finalist with his co-led jazz group. From there he was chosen to be musical director and arranger for the Rolling Along Show (a 25-member variety review), which toured the world entertaining military personnel. Relocating to Los Angeles, he became a studio performing musician on saxophone and flute and began vocal, string and horn arranging for records, as well as songwriting and landing a contract at ABC records. He organized, conducted and composed the library for the 12-piece symphonic Jazz/Fusion group SPECTRUM, 1971-1981, performing concerts in the Los Angeles area. A review in Variety called it, “exciting, moody and pulsating, laced with dramatic images.” Pete Carpenter heard the group and enlisted Jerry to begin composing for the famed Mike Post/Pete Carpenter team which lasted for nine years.
He contributed scoring to all of the hit Stephen Cannell television productions including THE A TEAM and HUNTER, in addition to Don Bellisauro’s phenomenal hit series MAGNUM P.I. Working independently since 1989, Jerry composed scores for six feature films, many A&E and Discovery Channel documentaries, animation series and the most popular children’s television series for two years running, THE SECRET WORLD OF ALEX MACK. The year 1999 signaled a return to his roots with the forming of the NUJAZZ ALTERNATIVE symphonic, jazz/rock orchestra, the music being an eclectic blend of his varied musical journey; dramatic, jazz, rock and classical music. The CD RUSH HOUR: Jerry Grant and the L.A. NUJAZZ ALTERNATIVE was released in 2001. Jerry followed in 2018 with a new CD, VIEW FROM THE MOUNTAIN, Jerry Grant & the Nujazz Alternative Virtual Orchestra. Jerry performs on saxophone along with three great musicians.
Studying conducting while receiving a Masters degree in music composition at Cal State Northridge, led to conducting the musicals Hello Dolly, Mame, Cabaret, and Godspell. He has conducted for his own film scores as well as other composers in Los Angeles studios from 1980 through 2003. In 1995, Jerry was the guest conductor at the Sun Valley Idaho Summer Symphony and in 2001 was guest conductor for his premiere of ALCHEMY for Alto Saxophone and Wind Ensemble with the UCLA Wind Ensemble as well as the premiere of CLASSICAL SERANADE for chamber orchestra. He has conducted many recording sessions for Disney and as an orchestrator, has created glittering sounds for Disney on Ice for many years as well as contributing to feature films.
He taught Composing and Conducting for Film at UCLA for 12 years (1991-2003), as well as teaching orchestration and composition at the Dick Grove School of Music (1984-1986). Jerry was a visiting professor in music composition at CSU Chico 2006-2008. Additionally, he taught in the YOUNG COMPOSERS PROGRAM for Music in the Mountains for students 10 to 19 years old (2005-2016) and he headed the instrumental music program at Hollywood High School, (1972-1978).
Composing for the concert hall has been woven throughout his career in commercial music, accepting commissions from MUSIC IN THE MOUNTAINS and IN CONCERT SIERRA in Grass Valley, the MODERN BRASS QUINTET in Los Angeles, the Methodist Church in Minneapolis, MN, Jim Self (first call tubist in Los Angeles studios), Don Sinta (world renowned saxophonist), and Sergio Carolino (world renowned Portugal Tubist) among other artists. Wayne State University honored him with a career achievement award for outstanding alumni in 2013. His concert and television music have been performed throughout the world. He is a member of BMI.