Orginally from a little suburb of North London, Gerard took up trumpet at 10 and became an active member of the London Jazz Scene from his early teens. His original influences were Louis Armstrong, Roy Eldridge, Fats Navarro, Clifford Brown, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis.
During the 1980ʼs there were many young jazz musicians coming through and Gerard played with many of the new generation, as well as the more established names on the UK jazz scene. By this stage his love of classic Bluenote albums from the 50’s and 60’s influenced his playing as he tried to emulate Lee Morgan, Blue Mitchell and Freddie Hubbard.
His wide variety of playing experiences led him to play frequently with celebrated jazz pianist Stan Tracey. At the age of 18, Gerard recorded a duet on Stanʼs live album at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, later released for Bluenote Records.
Around this time, Gerard was the soloist on a recording, again for the Bluenote record label.This was a track for a new band called US3 on a track entitled Cantaloop Flip Fantasia, a reworking of the Herbie Hancock classic track Cantaloupe Island.
Cantaloop became a worldwide hit and Gerardʼs soloing was heard by millions of people, selling over 3 million albums on this rare chart topping Jazz release.
The age of 18 also proved significant for Presencer, as he began a working relationship with Charlie Watts, drummer of The Rolling Stones, who has a great love of jazz. Gerard has made many albums with Charlie and has gone on to write, play, tour and produce for Charlie to this day.
Gerard has played and recorded with many jazz musicians, but he feels the following artists have been significant and inspirational:
Chick Corea, John Taylor, Stan Tracey, Herbie Hancock, Mark Turner, Red Rodney, Jack DeJohnette, Chris Potter, Vince Mendoza, Randy Brecker, Bob Berg, Larry Grenadeir, Mike Gibbs, Steve Swallow, Jeff Ballard, Joe Locke, John Surman, Norma Winstone, Kalman Olah, Peter Erskine, Mulgrew Miller and Tony Coe. Gerard has a great love of the playing and the music of Kenny Wheeler.
From an early age, Gerard’s fascination with the study of trumpet playing led him into teaching and so he has taught throughout his career.
As a studio musician,Gerard has played on many records for artists including: Joni Mitchell, Ray Charles, Pet Shop Boys, Sting, Take That, Robbie Williams, Zero 7, Incognito, Paul Weller and collaborated on a filmscore with Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead.
Gerard has won the trumpet category of the British Jazz Awards 4 times,as well as their Rising Star Award. He has released 4 solo albums most recently his first big band album with the Danish Radio Big Band entitled Groove Travels.
In recent years Gerard has started to explore new horizons for his playing within a more classical setting, where he improvises as part of the acclaimed chamber group, The Suoni Ensemble led by composer Siobhan Lamb. The ensemble have released 3 albums for the Naxos label and are busy touring in 2017 with a new project (and fourth album), The Red Shoes that is based on the classic story by Hans Christian Andersen.
As a teacher, Gerard was Head of the Brass Department at the Jazz Institute Berlin for 17 years and was the Head of Jazz Studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London from 1999 to 2010, where, with his students, developed the M.A.P. system to help support his students transition into the often eclectic and highly demanding professional world.
In 2017 Gerard has written and produced a new album for Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones and the Danish Radio Big Band for release on the legendary Impulse!/Bluenote labels for Universal.