Gary Eby has been a drummer as long as he can remember; back to when he saw his grandfather playfully drum on surfaces with a knife and fork. Eby immediately began to learn how to beat out rythyms with drumsticks. Growing up in Detroit, MI during the hugely popular Motown Music period of the 50's and 60's, Eby was surrounded by musical influences and also became a self-taught pianist and marimba player.
"The marimba is part of the percussion instrument group," he explains, "but of course, like a xylophone, you can also produce music with it. I've developed some techniques which makes it sound like two people are playing at once."
Eby started his first rock bank at the age of 14. He later joined the Army and played in both the Army Band and the Fife and Drum Corps in Washington, D.C.
Upon discharge from the Army, Eby finished his education, earned a master's degree in social work and became a therapist. He now has over 37 years of experience as a therapist, working over the years first at the Albuquerque, N.M. Veterans Administration Hospital and later at the V.A. Hospital in Battle Creek, MI. Eby also joined the National Guard and performed in the National Guard Band in Albuquerque.
Utilizing his years of experience working with people from many walks of life, Eby developed self-help techniques in order to give people tools to take charge of their lives. He continues to counsel people and has recently written "The Eby Way; Challenge, Release and Heal Your Painful Past."
Eby will solo on the marimba at the "Big Band and Jazz Extravaganza" concert, taking place from 4 to 7 p.m. this Sunday at the Deer Creek Center, 1241 Illinois River Road, a mile west of the Selma Post Office. His new book will be available for sale at the concert.
The concert is sponsored by the Illinois River Valley Arts Council and will also feature Oregon Little Big Band, Southern Oregon Jazz Orchestra and a juried art fair organized by the Southern Oregon Guild. Visit www.irvac.org or call 541-592-4444 for further information.