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Native born, Gail Dobson, an endearing jazz vocalist with a smoky, amber contralto, traces her performance history to such legendary North Beach haunts as the Purple Onion, the Hungry i, the Jazz Workshop, and the Bach, Dancing, and Dynamite Society in Half Moon Bay. She is currently the featured vocalist for the horn player, Ray Brown's Great Big Band, (23 years singing with the band), and her band, The Gail Dobson Band.
Gail say's "I am a Jazz Singer, Recording Artist, Vocal Teacher, Mom, Grandma. I've sung all my life and have shared this blessing with my first husband, pianist, George Muribus, and my late husband, Smith Dobson, pianist/singer, and my children, Sasha Dobson-vocalist, and Smith Dobson V-drummer, vibraphonist, saxophonist. I've experienced first hand what hard work and dedication, mixed with lots of fun can do for music in general, also for children who want to sing, play music and perform, and I've had the blessing of teaching this to hundreds of children thru the years. My band, which features Bay Area’s top musicians, is a marriage of traditional jazz harmonies with Afro-Cuban and Latin rhythms, and highlights my philosophy and strong inclination to allow the music to unfold naturally. through encouraging player interaction and soloing. This is the tradition that I grew up with in jazz. And in the tradition my children grew up in, this band features my son on vibes, who is now 38 years old, and a magnificent musician.
My performance group is “Gail Dobson’s Youth in Jazz” with students from age five and up. Teamed with my first rate jazz band, these young singers have appeared throughout the Bay Area, playing at San Francisco City Hall for the Mayor's office, Ghirardelli Square's Tree Lighting Ceremony performing for over 2,000 people, San Jose Jazz Festival, 2008, 2010, 2012, Border's Books on Union Square, SF, and Monterey, the Jazzschool in Berkeley, 4 sold out concerts at La Pena Cultural Center in Berkeley, and recorded a live DVD at Wave St. Studios in Monterey.
Phil Elwood said that I am an endearing Jazz-Latin vocalist with a smoky, amber contralto, I began my performance history at such legendary North Beach haunts as the Purple Onion, the Hungry i, and the Jazz Workshop. I am currently the featured vocalist for the horn player, Ray Brown Great Big Band, and the leader of my bands, Gail Dobson Latin Jazz Septet & Gail Dobson Jazz Quintet.
My recent concerts at the La Peña Cultural Center in Berkeley, Ca. featured both the traditions of La Peña and the Dobson legacy-3 Generations sharing their love of music. It was a night of music for the whole family to enjoy, generations sharing in this amazing experience, on and off the stage! My Quintet covered a broad musical and emotional palette including the music of Antonio Carlos Jobim, Wayne Shorter, Smith Dobson, Kenny Barron, Nat Adderley, and Mongo Santamaria.
I am currently teaching vocals for all ages at the Canon Music School in Cupertino Ca, the La Pena Cultural Center in Berkeley, Ca.. and Union Music in San Francisco, Ca.
"We thoroughly enjoyed your students and their performances at the San Jose Jazz Festival on Saturday. It was obvious that the love and support, time and training you gave each one was returned to you by great performances and love from the students. It is the special teacher and love magic you give that inspires the students to work at success. San Jose Jazz Society, 2010
Andrew Gilbert, Bay Area jazz journalist 4/2015“How Fragile We Are”There aren’t many vocalists who can evoke vulnerability while making their toughness apparent, but veteran Bay Area jazz singer Gail Dobson brings a lifetime of soul and experience to a wildly disparate collection of songs on her captivating new EP “How Fragile We Are.” With her rhythmic acuity and unhurried phrasing she’s an artist who knows that revealing a song’s secrets requires ensemble exploration, and she’s surrounded herself with some of the region’s best musicians (including Smith Dobson V, her multi-instrumentalist son).
Gail Dobson Band Gail Dobson Vocal Coach