At age 5, Gene Perla began playing classical piano. While studying engineering and business he heard pianist Bill Evans, prompting his return to music. He switched to bass while studying at Berklee at the age of 24 after hearing Charlie Haden. His first major gig was the Willie Bobo Sextet, which included famed Cuban conguero Patato. Other gigs included Woody Herman, Elvin Jones, Sonny Rollins, Nina Simone, and Sarah Vaughan.
Perla then entered audio school, worked in the studio with Todd Rundgren, founded P.M. Records, and established recording facilities. Currently teaching at Lehigh University and the New School, his credits include Broadway theatrical sound design, internet design and hosting, and computer networking.
He will play examples of his bass work and tell some stories about his adventures with Miles Davis, Elvin Jones, Joni Mitchell, Sonny Rollins, and more.