Gregg Gelb

Gregg Gelb
Gregg Gelb will headline the 45th annual opening night’s Special Event on Thursday, February 6, 2025.

Gelb is a saxophonist, clarinetist, band leader, arranger, composer, and educator. He is director of the Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble, founder and director of the Heart of Carolina Jazz Orchestra and Jazz Society, and co-founder and player with the North Carolina Jazz Repertory Orchestra. He founded groups Jazz Trio/Quartet, La Fiesta Latin Jazz Quintet, the Second Line Stompers, the Gregg Gelb Swing Band, performing with them regularly. Always a dedicated teacher, Gelb has brought jazz and music education to North Carolina since arriving here in 1979. He holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Berklee College of Music, a Master of Music degree from the North Carolina School of the Arts, and a Doctor of Musical Arts from University of North Carolina Greensboro.

In 1990, Gregg founded and organized the Heart of Carolina Jazz Society (HOCJS), a non-profit community organization that supports the Heart of Jazz Carolina Orchestra, and has been its Artistic Director ever since. The HOCJS has created an annual series of free performances in schools and communities as well as an annual concert series featuring high-caliber jazz artists.
Gregg received the Raleigh Medal of Arts in 2018 and is a recipient of a North Carolina Arts Council Jazz Composers Award and four Regional Artist grants from the Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County.

Gregg has been principal saxophonist for the North Carolina Symphony throughout his career, playing classical and pops music. He was saxophone soloist on “Escapades,” by John Williams with the Symphony. The Gregg Gelb Swing Band also performed with the Symphony Orchestra for its young people’s concerts, which were broadcast on WUNC-TV, and he was saxophone soloist playing the music of Charlie Parker on “Bird with Strings” with the Durham Symphony Orchestra.

Gregg teaches jazz and classical music appreciation at Central Carolina Community College, and he is a saxophone and jazz teacher at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Summer Jazz Camp. He has taught at Francis Marion University, University of North Carolina Greensboro, North Carolina State University, Fayetteville State University, and University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.