Born: September 2, 1963 Primary Instrument: Trombone
Pete McGuinness has been an active New York City jazz trombonist, composer-arranger (2008 GRAMMY nominee for his big band/vocal arrangement of Smile), vocalist, bandleader and jazz educator since 1987. As a young man growing up in West Hartford, Connecticut, Pete spent his teen-age years studying jazz trombone and arranging, sitting- in with the local Hartford-area professionals musicians, as well as participating in the renowned Hall High School jazz program. By this time, Pete had become firmly committed to a future as a jazz musician. He went on for his formal musical training at the New England Conservatory, the University of Miami (Bachelor of Music in jazz 1986), and finally onto New York City, attending the Manhattan School of Music (Master of Music in jazz, 1987). From that point on, Pete became busy in the NYC jazz scene as a trombonist, an arranger-composer, and later a jazz vocalist and jazz educator as well. As a trombonist, he has performed with such well-known jazz artists/groups as The Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra, the Woody Herman big band (dir. By Frank Tibieri), Lionel Hampton, Dave Pietro, Mike Holober, Anita Brown, Scott Whitfield, the nonets of both Jim Cifelli and Mike Kaplan, and appears on over 20 jazz CDs. He also became very busy in the New York Broadway show scene, having performed with the orchestras of over 17 shows since 1991.
From 1988-1990, Pete studied with Bob Brookmeyer and Manny Albam as part of the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop, and has since established himself as a respected composer-arranger. He has received numerous commissions over the years for original compositions and arrangements, including those from from the National Endowment for the Arts, Dave Liebman, The Gotham Winds Symphony, and the University of Miami Concert Jazz Band. Pete is a regular contributing arranger for the Westchester Jazz Orchestra, as well as the composer/arranger for his own ensemble - The Pete McGuinness Jazz Orchestra.
In the early 1990's, Pete formed the first of several groups he would lead/co-lead, with The Pete McGuinness Quintet. The group's debut CD Sliding In was released nation-wide in 1998 on Kokopelli Records, receiving much radio airplay and acclaim. It was in these years that Pete also developed his jazz vocal talents, landing him in the semi-finals of the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocal Competition (1994). Two years later, jazz legend Jimmy Heath hiring him as the the featured singer with his big band for the bands engagement on the S.S. Norway's Jazz Cruise. Pete has been a co-leader of groups including The New York Trombone Conspiracy (CD A Matter Of Time released in 1998, Conspiracy Music Records), and The NewYorkestra big band (CD Urban Soundscapes released 2004, Seabreeze Jazz records). His most recent project is the formation of his own big band - The Pete McGuinness Jazz Orchestra, which began performing in the NYC area in 2006. The group's debut CD First Flight was released nation-wide in June of 2007 on the Summit record label. The CD feature¹s Pete as trombonist, composer-arranger, and jazz vocalist, as well as all the fine jazz players of the NYC-based big band, including Bill Mobley (trumpet), Dave Pietro (alto), Mike Holober (piano), and Scott Neumann (drums), among others.
As a jazz educator, Pete was on the music faculty of New Jersey City University (Jersey City, NJ) from 1994-2011, and in fall 20011 was appointed Professor Of Jazz Arranging at William Paterson University in Wayne, NJ. He has also been invited to give clinics on a variety of jazz subjects at both high schools and college jazz programs throughout the country, including the University of Miami, and City College, NYC (CUNY), Temple Unive rsity, and Hall High School (West Hartford, CT). Pete is available for concerts/clinics year-round. He currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife Joan and their dog Daisy.
Awards:-Nominated for 2008 Grammy Award - Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s) for "Smile" on CD "First Flight" (Summit Records) -First prize - Jazzmobile vocal competition 2010.
4-stars...stunning -Downbeat magazine
First Flight - (Summit Records - June 2007) (includes Pete's 2008 GRAMMY nominated arrangement - "Smile")
The Pete McGuinness Quintet (leader)
Sliding In (Kokopelli Records - 1998)
The New York Trombone Conspiracy (co-leader)
A Matter Of Time (Conspiracy Music - 1998)
The NewYorkestra Big Band (co-leader)
Urban Soundscapes (Seabreeze Jazz - 2004)
The Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra (trombone)
Concert In The Garden (ArtistShare)
*Winner: 2005 GRAMMY for best large jazz ensemble recording
Dave Pietro (trombone)
Standard Wonder: The Music Of Stevie Wonder (A Records)
Scott Whitfield (vocal, trombone)
Speaking Of Love (Summit)
Anita Brown Jazz Orchestra (trombone)
27 East (Lasheda Records)
The Jim Cefelli New York Nonet (trombone, composer-arranger)
Tunnel Vision (Short Notice Music)
Bill Mobley's Space Time Big Band (lead trombone)
New Light (Space Time Records)
Mike Kaplan Nonet (trombone)
How's That? (Semi-Sweet Records)
Mike Holober and The Gotham Jazz Orchestra (trombone)
Thought Trains (Sons Of Sound)
Andy Middleton (trombone)
Terra Infirma (Panarama)
The Swiss Jazz Orchestra (composer-arranger)
Live (Mons Records)
Demitrios Kastaris and The Latin Jazz Coalition (trombone, arranger)
Trombone Con Sazon (LJC Records)
The Gotham Wind Symphony (arranger)
Music For Children (Wack Cylinder Recordings)
Joe Traina (producer, arranger, trombone, vocals)
Only In New York (Joe Traina Music)
Blair Casdin (producer, arranger, vocals)
Cheek To Cheek (www.blaircasdin.com)
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Willing to teach:
Advanced students only.
Pete has been a member of the jazz studies faculty at New Jersey City University (Jersey City, NJ) since 1994. He teaches jazz arranging and composition, trombone, ensembles, and improvisation. Go to: www.njcu.edu for more information.
Because of Pete's wide range of experience and abilities (trombonist, jazz vocalist, composer, arranger, bandleader), he can work with students in a variety of capacities. Pete has given both college and high school level jazz clinics both in the US and in Europe. Clinics have focused on jazz improvisation, composing-arranging, jazz trombone, vocal "scat" technique, and ensemble playing (combo and big band). He is also a staff clinician for the Conn-Selmer company, which assists in financing his visits.