Mike Gerber works the piano as if he had begun playing in the womb. Actually he took to the instrument when he was just two and a half years old. Nearly 50 years later, the keyboardist (blind since birth) never ceases to wow audiences when he attacks the ivories. After devoting his youth to performing classical music around his native St. Louis, Gerber discovered jazz in his late teens and developed a love for improvisation that flourishes today. A mainstay in the South Florida jazz community, where he's played on and off (but mostly on) since 1969, Gerber is admired for his dazzling, speedy bursts. Although a bout with hearing loss in the late Nineties slowed his career a bit, he is back on track working toward a master's degree in jazz studies at Florida International University. In addition to his schoolwork, Gerber keeps busy gigging in area clubs such as the Van Dyke Café and hitting the occasional concert or jazz festival across North America.