Gerry and Elizabeth Sanders of Santa Rosa host BackYard Jazz House Concerts poolside in their own back yard or inside their home in order to showcase the talents of the many jazz musicians living right here in our own Bay Area “Backyard,” as well as those who travel the House Concert “circuit” playing before appreciative audiences in intimate settings. The House Concert experience is the perfect opportunity for jazz artists to share the music they love the way they love to play it. It’s an opportunity for these artists to express themselves freely, to play with and to communicate with an audience that wants to hear live jazz for it’s own sake, not as ambient background music for a social or entertainment function.
Elizabeth and Gerry married at the house in 2009 and enjoyed it so much they decided they wanted to share the space with like-minded folk. We are both retired. Elizabeth spent her youth raising two wonderful daughters, Malia and Amanda, now off on their own in Colorado. While raising them, she started a Waldorf School in Kona, Hawaii, and later used her experience to become a consultant to non-profit organizations. For a while, she sang in local choirs and eventually became President of the local Performing Arts Society.
Gerry misspent his youth mostly as a Psychologist in private practice in Santa Rosa, coaching soccer, and wishing he hadn’t given up playing sax until he resumed 17 years after HS when he played in a R&B band called the Sirens of Graton for four years. After hearing Jon Zorn play so joyfully at Yoshi’s 23 years later he made good on his recurring threat to pick up his horn again and since then has been taking regular lessons, practicing regularly, and now takes music theory and jazz performance classes at the Santa Rosa Junior College. He also plays with a group every other week in the hopes he may one day he may really learn to play jazz. In the meantime, it’s mostly listening, enjoying, and sharing jazz appreciation with others. Besides jazz, Gerry and E love to travel, spend time with their kids, Malia, Amanda, and Gabe, enjoy their small Havanese dogs, Annie and Ollie (you’re bound to meet them at a concert), and two cats, Chloe, and Esa, and even garden a bit.
Gerry has had the utmost pleasure in raising his son, Gabe, who studies International relations and Languages at UC Davis.
Not to worry – Gerry has no plans to play for audiences at the house. :-). He wants you to hear really great music!
Our “Backyard” last Summer, the “Headliner Stage” below and below that, the “Youth” stage; we’ll take new pictures at the next concert. On hot days you can relax in the pool or under one of approximately 15 large umbrellas that dot our poolside landscape. Check out the Photo and Video page to see our venue during a performance.