Jazz bassist, composer and visual artist Gerald Cannon was born in Racine, Wisconsin, attended The University of Wisconsin at La Crosse, and studied at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music in Milwaukee. Gerald moved in New York City at age 28, and he started to play in the after hours band at the Blue Note Jazz Club.
He has performed with legendary musicians such as Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, Dexter Gordon, Cedar Walton Trio with Billy Higgins, Jimmy Smith, Jimmy Scott, James Williams, Hamiett Bluiett, Ed Thigpen, Frank Foster, John Bunch, Eddie Harris, Stanley Turrentine and Bunky Green, Roy Hargrove, George Coleman, Elvin Jones, Wynton and Branford Marsalis, Pat Martino, Louis Hayes, The Cannonball Legacy, Ernestine Anderson, Carmen Lundy, Abbey Lincoln, Gary Bartz, Joe Lovano, Monty Alexander, Larry Willis, Eddie Henderson, Steve Turre, Eric Reed, the Dexter Gordon Legacy Ensemble, and remains the Musical Director for the McCoy Tyner Trio.
He has and continues to perform major jazz festivals all over the world, including the North Sea Jazz Festival, Cape Town Jazz Festival, Montreux Jazz Festival, Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, and the Montreal Jazz Festival, conducting master classes throughout the U.S. and Europe. He taught at the Oberlin Conservatory in 2014, the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music in Milwaukee, and the New School in New York and at Long Island University. He also gave a number of master classes at the University of Wisconsin in Whitewater and Eau Clair, at Emery University in Atlanta, Georgia and at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. Cannon was also a faculty member of the Conservatory of Maastricht, Holland.