Jerry Gillotti, owner of Gilly’s jazz club in downtown Dayton, passed away Thursday, November 23, 2017. He was 80 years old.
Gillotti became a jazz fan while stationed in Germany during his service in the Army from 1956 to 1958. Upon returning to Ohio, he graduated from the University of Dayton in 1962. He began presenting live music in 1969 when he opened his first business, Jerry Gillotti’s Wedgewood Inn on Patterson Road in Dayton. In 1972, Gilly’s opened at 801 North Main Street. The club moved to its current location at 131 S. Jefferson Street in the heart of downtown Dayton in 1976.
Gilly’s has hosted countless notable performers during the club’s 45 year tenure including Roy Meriwether who performed the club’s opening show, George Benson, B.B. King, Bobby Blue Bland, Wynton Marsalis, Stan Getz, Stevie Ray Vaughan and many others.