Jerry Granelli

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Jerry Granelli (born December 30, 1940) is an American-born Canadian jazz drummer. He is best known for playing drums on the soundtrack A Charlie Brown Christmas with the Vince Guaraldi Trio.


Born in San Francisco, Granelli was involved with the city's hard bop scene from a young age. A day spent with drummer Gene Krupa in 1948 informed his passion for percussion[1] and eventually led to him studying with Joe Morello.

In the 1960s he recorded and toured with the Vince Guaraldi trio,[1] appearing on Vince Guaraldi, Bola Sete and Friends and A Charlie Brown Christmas. Granelli was only paid $120 dollars for the recording session of A Charlie Brown Christmas, and has never received any royalties from the television special or its soundtrack.[2] Despite this fact, Granelli says he is not bitter: "It’s become one of the soundtracks of people’s lives,” he says. “There is such a human quality to it.”[2]

Jerry also acted as a session drummer during this period. Among his many sessions was the recording of the Sylvia Tyson penned "You Were On My Mind" by folk group We Five, which won a Grammy award in 1965 for Best Performance by a Vocal Group. Later in the decade, he joined the Denny Zeitlin trio with Charlie Haden.[3] The soundtrack went on to become a triple-platinum award winning album.[4]

Since the 1990s, Granelli has lived in Halifax, Nova Scotia, becoming a Canadian citizen in 1999. In 2010, he released his first solo album, 1313.[5] Granelli tours jazz festivals and holiday venues with his one-man show Tales of a Charlie Brown Christmas, which retells the three-hour recording session in 1965 that culminated in the timeless Christmas classic.[4] Granelli recalled in a 2016 interview: "We did it all in one day over three hours, but Vince did us a favour and paid us for two sessions."[2]


With Vince Guaraldi Trio

With Jane Ira Bloom


  • Sound Songs (JMT/Winter & Winter, 1986)
  • As Tears Go By & Some More Songs (Jazzwerkstatt, 1987)
  • Koputai (ITM, 1988)
  • One Day at a Time (Koch, 1990)
  • A Song I Thought I Heard Buddy Sing (ITM, 1992)
  • Another Place (Intuition, 1994)
  • News from the Street (Intuition, 1995)
  • Broken Circle (Intuition, 1996)
  • Enter, a Dragon (Songlines, 1998)
  • Forces of Flight (Select, 1999)
  • Crowd Theory (Songlines, 1999)
  • Iron Sky (Love Slave, 2001)
  • The Only Juan (Love Slave, 2002)
  • Sandhills Reunion (Songlines, 2005)
  • 1313 (Divorce, 2010)
  • Music Has Its Way with Me (Traumton, 2000)
  • What I Hear Now (Addo, 2015)
  • Dance Hall (Justin Time, 2017)[6]


  1. ^ a b Bang, Derrick (2012). Vince Guaraldi at the Piano. McFarland. p. 114. ISBN 9780786490745.
  2. ^ a b c Jerry Granelli Tells Tales of a Charlie Brown Christmas. Robins, Marks. September 16, 2019.
  3. ^ Wong, Herb; Fingerote, Paul Simeon (2016). Jazz on My Mind. McFarland. p. 177. ISBN 9780786496402.
  4. ^ a b Tales of a Charlie Brown Christmas.
  5. ^ Galloway, A. Scott. "Bio". Jerry Granelli. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  6. ^ "Jerry Granelli | Album Discography | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 26 July 2018.

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