I met Gary about 15 years ago, when I moved to the States. His rock music teaching program for aspiring musicians of any age, grouped by skill level and interests rather than just age group, grabbed my attention the first time I visited the (now defunct, unfortunately) East Coast Music store.
I joined his program, and before I knew it I became part of many bands that he formed over the years, making lots of new musical friends in addition to improving my skills.
Gary's music talent is unparalleled: he knows thousands of songs across different genres by heart, his soloing skills are amazing (especially in jazz and rock) yet he only uses them artfully to refine the sound of the band, complementing shortcomings of the wanna-be musicians that he is teaching love for music to.
The result is that any aspiring musician, no matter the age and playing skills, is offered a joyful and enticing environment to play music in, and feel "I did it, I can do even better and I know now what to practice on next".
I am fascinated by his ability to interact with children all ages, get the most out of them and make them feel proud of their performances. When I took music lessons as a teen ager, they were all about score reading and practicing passages. Of course they are important steps, but I never had a teacher like Gary who would also bring in the passion of sharing music in a band, learning from each others' mistakes, making commitments to other band members to practice and improve, performing in public every now and then as a motivating challenge to grow musically.
More recently I enjoyed playing with Gary some serious jazz. His improvisation skills are amazing and head and shoulders above anybody I know. As I play my part I listen to his soulful re-interpretation of the tune in awe, realizing how much more I need to grow and I can learn from him.
I don't think there is any other professional musician that like him can dialog with pro musicians and primary school kids beginners with the same ease.