Jerry Granelli, creator of "Peanuts" theme song, performs at Univ.

Laura Crowley

Arts & Life Editor

As part of the Jazz at Bucknell series, the Jerry Granelli Trio performed on March 6 in Bucknell Hall. The trio includes Jerry Granelli on drums, J. Anthony Granelli on bass and Briggan Krauss on saxophone. Jerry Granelli, who is a native of San Francisco, is well known for having created the swing beat for the “Peanuts” theme song. Our generation may also recognize him from performing in “The Matrix” and alongside the Grateful Dead.

While Jazz performances are typically held in the lobby of the Weis Center for the Performing Arts, the change of venue to Bucknell Hall attracted a comparably sizeable group.

“It’s great to hear live music in another space on campus,” said Assistant Professor of Music Barry Long.

“One reason why people like improvised music is that it’s a direct reflection of life, not something we thought up. It scares you … makes you think you’re going to die for a moment,” Jerry said.

Jerry’s alternative approach to jazz music has led him to be a pioneer in psychedelic sounds during the ’60s and a winner of the last NEA Grant award. Jerry, who is also a Buddhist, is largely influenced by his heavily Italian hometown. His dad was an Italian wedding drummer.

“[My] dad liked swing, my uncle was more bebop. My first memory of music was finding a couple of screwdrivers then climbing up the drums to play them,” Jerry said.

Despite his age, Jerry has no plans to retire.

“I want to be an artist until I drop and continue to be relevant,” Jerry said. “I remember seeing Max Roach in New York City just before he died in 2007. I walked into Carroll Music on 55th and could not believe my eyes. At 83, that man had rented a room and was in there … practicing.”

Jerry’s long career showed in his performance, which displays his capacities for improvisation. Long calls the trio’s style “a blend of free and traditional.” JazzTimes Magazine calls Jerry “one of those uncategorizable veteran percussionists who’s done it all.”

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