Jerry Nagano Biography

NaganoJerry Nagano was born and raised in the Los Angeles area where he began his musical training at age ten. From the very beginning the movies played a major role in his musical life. After attending a silent movie accompanied by the theater pipe organ, Jerry took an interest in the organ. After instruction on electronic organ for a period, he had a chance to study with organist Gaylord Carter, the very person who played for that silent film years before.

During his college years, Jerry was the organist at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, playing their famed Reginald Foort/BBC Möller pipe organ. Friendships were made which led to instruction with Carter, Gordon Kibbee, and much later with the late Tom Hazleton.

 For ten years Jerry was the featured artist at Ye Olde Pizza Joynt in San Lorenzo, home of the “Wurlitzer in the Pizza Parlor” concept. Since the Pizza Joynt days, Jerry has played at the Stanford Theater in Palo Alto, where classic Hollywood films are screened nightly with intermissions performed on the Mighty Wurlitzer. Jerry has also played at the Oakland Paramount Theatre and currently plays at the California Theatre in San Jose, playing not only the 4-manual auditorium Wurlitzer but the fabulous 2/10 Style 216 Wurlitzer in the California’s lobby. Patrons of the San Jose Opera and Symphony Silicon Valley regularly dance their way to their seats to the rhythmic beat of the Wurlitzer organ. In 2017 Jerry was named Theatre Organist of the Year by the American Theatre Organ Society.

Aside from his busy musical life, during the day, Jerry is a Computer Systems Engineer for Stanford University.