Jerry Fields, Mount Vernon’s percussion instructor for grades 6-12, is a passionate and prolific percussionist who has performed as a professional drummer for over 50 years. Early in his career, he was a member of the Hampton Grease Band, touring in various parts of the country in the early 1970s. Jerry also played at various pop Festivals and venues, performing with such artists such as B.B. King, The Allman Brothers Band, Frank Zappa, Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Winter, Janis Joplin, and Bette Midler. Jerry later completed a Percussion Performance degree in Western Classical music, graduating Summa Cum Laude from Kennesaw College. He has studied and continues to study, Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, and Hindustani/Carnatic hand percussion.
Professionally, Jerry was the timpanist for the Cobb Symphony Orchestra for 11 years. His expertise in mallet percussion, timpani, and other percussion instruments afforded him the opportunity to play in the orchestra for a myriad of musicals and perform as a guest artist/soloist with many chamber ensembles. He currently is the leader and founder of an Afro-Caribbean Jazz group called Vecinos del Mundo, which translates to Neighbors of the World, Taksim, a Middle Eastern percussion and dance group, and Sueños Flamencos, a flamenco ensemble. Jerry continues to work as an accompanist with different ensembles and is involved with various recording projects. In addition to his passion for music, Jerry loves horseback riding and dancing, and performing to Greek music. Jerry taught Yoga for many years and continues to meditate daily.
Jerry is beginning his fifth year at Mount Vernon. His students would describe him as energetic, enthusiastic, passionate, patient, knowledgeable, and funny. Jerry is inspired by the universality of musical expression, noting that “the study of music and dance present in cultures throughout the world keeps my creative juices flowing in addition to motivating me to practice and excel at my instruments.”