My name is Gerry Polci. I have been playing professionally for more than fifty years, yes, fifty years, and I’m happy to say I still love what I do and love to share my acquired skills with the rest of the drumming world.
I started playing professionally when I was fourteen years old in the New York/New Jersey area—weddings, dances, club gigs; you name it, I played it. I graduated from high school and entered Montclair State College in New Jersey as a music major, and also started studying with master drummer, technician, and mentor Joe Morello. Joe changed my life in a way I still experience today: a lasting technical knowledge and a complete respect for the art of drumming. College broadened my understanding of music and helped me appreciate all kinds of music.
In 1973, after two years of college, I elected to take a leave and see what I could do on a grander scale in the music business. In four months, I landed a gig with Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. I started out as the drummer, then added background vocals, and then in 1976, sang lead on “December 1963 (Oh, What A Night),” which became a number-one record and the largest selling single the band ever had.
I sang lead on a few more tunes, which became hits in Europe. I toured the world, recorded, and appeared on many TV shows. I endorsed Ludwig drums and Vic Firth sticks, soloed in Madison Square Garden among other great venues, and fulfilled many of my dreams. I moved to LA in 1978, where I worked with Barry Manilow for a short time, got into the recording and TV world of LA, and worked with artists on original music with some great musicians and great friends.
In 1990, I moved back to NJ, where I completed my music education and landed a teaching job in New Providence, where I taught music for twenty years. In some ways, deciding to teach was one of the best decisions I ever made. I was able to reach kids on a daily basis and help shape their lives not only in music, but also in becoming adults and preparing them for the real world. I continued to play through this period, taught privately, (one of my students just graduated from Berkeley School of Music), and co-created a band called the Hit Men and toured the country for seven years.
Now in 2023 I’ve joined JM&A to return to the stage in a new show highlighting my musical journey singing songs that have impacted me artistically.