Jeri grew up singing the songs of her beloved Laura Nyra and Joni Mitchell while listening to the progressive rock bands of the 1970’s. After graduating from Boston College with a degree in philosophy and literature she decided to get serious about her piano playing. She studied jazz improvisation with the legendary Charlie Banacos and followed her new found career path playing and singing at clubs and Boston hotel venues. Stints with dance bands, GB groups and solo piano tours in Europe helped pay the rent while honing her jazz skills. Today, Jeri’s repertoire spans the jazz tradition from the standards of the Great American Songbook to the Bluenote sounds of Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock and Mccoy Tyner.
Jeri brings her teaching experience of 35 years (piano, harmony, improvisation, vocal coach) to the Rivers School Conservatory. Married to world famous saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi, she has worked with her husband editing his 7 book series titled “Inside Improvisation”, published by Advance Music, which describes practical methods and approaches for developing improvisational skills: Melodic Structures, Pentatonics, Jazz Line, Melodic Rhythms, Thesaurus of Intervallic Melodies, Developing a Jazz Language, Hexatonics.