"A song to Remember", Hollywood's distortion of the life of Chopin, was Gary’s first inspiration to become a classical pianist. Later, after hearing Art Tatum and Teddy Wilson, Gary’s musical education turned toward jazz. On his turn with the draft Gary became a musician in the Navy. Funds to assist with college and law school were on the GI Bill, an occasional piano gig and his wife Sharon’s willingness to work to “put him through”.

 

During his law practice the piano has been Gary’s companion. He plays “the standards”, remembering that in times past we danced to them while singing the lyrics. He reminds us that we learned these songs at their birthplace: The American Musical Theater and the Hollywood Movies. Gary promotes the continuation of musical theater by his devotion to the Woodminster Summer Musicals performed each summer high in the Oakland hills at the Woodminster Amphitheater. To include the lyrics in his music Gary often accompanies good singers, in whose absence he’ll sing a chorus or two himself.

 

Regarding lyrics: While at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Gary went to a jazz club in Manhattan to hear Erroll Garner. Determined to learn from a musical icon, Gary caught Garner’s ear between sets. Gary asked Garner what went through his mind during his improvisations. His gravel voice answered: "The Words!" Of course! "The words!" Lyrics were the indivisible half of our "Tin Pan Alley" heritage. They are American poetry.

 

Perhaps it was Gary’s experience playing piano bar that enhanced his reverence for the American Popular song. Around the piano bar people rejoiced in singing those great tunes.

 

To this day he prefers piano bar, where listeners participate in the music, to “cocktail piano”, where talkers attempt to drown it out.

About Gary

“Gary’s expressive piano seems to sing the lyrics.”

Gary Rinehart, Attorney & Pianist

Curriculum Vitae

About Gary

The Music

Discography

The Ampico Reproducing Piano

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Gary’s Novel: “Nude Sleeping in a Hammock”

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“Nude Sleeping in a Hammock”