Interview: Gary Foote

July 21, 2022

Photo by Yvonne Kemp

Milwaukee’s own bassist, songwriter and composer Gary Foote was born and raised in Milwaukee, WI, on 10th and Capitol Dr., and attended St. Philip’s Lutheran School. He graduated from Wisconsin Lutheran High School, Class of 1980. After an early high school graduation, he received a full scholarship to Florida State University where his roommate was Marcus Roberts, the pianist with the Wynton Marsalis band. He studied music composition and performance and was included on the album “Magewind”. Gary then moved to New York City where he quickly emerged on the music scene and began touring with Swiss-based jazz/fusion, performer Billy Cobham. After signing with RCA Records with Charlie Elgart, Gary moved to Japan with BBC and began to work in New York City with Rock Video International as a coordinating producer while touring with songstress Regina Belle.

Gary began a lifelong touring relationship with the legendary band “Blood Sweat & Tears” and held that post until Smokey Robinson and Berry Gordy hired him to work with the Motown family for 12 years. He continues to tour with Smokey Robinson to this day. As a founding partner in the company Soundguild, he composed and produced music for television shows under the Viacom umbrella (MTV, Nickelodeon, TV Land, etc.) as well as music for Quincy Jones Productions and Nile Rogers Productions.

After recording with P Diddy, Wu Tang, Maxwell, etc., Gary’s time has primarily been spent touring the world and, along with his wife, Jenny Douglas Foote (Toto Pink), they have performed in more than 75 countries and all 50 states. At present, he is working with Electronic Dance Music (EDM) producer DJ Erudition, along with Berkshires Academy for Advanced Musical Studies (BAAMS) founder Richard Boulger and is enthusiastic about sharing all he can with all those interested in music. “In learning you will teach and in teaching you will learn,” he said

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