Primary Instrument: Piano
When Pete Malinverni plays, the people listen, observed the New York Daily News.
That’s no mean feat in the Mecca of Jazz. Indeed, Jim Macnie of the Village Voice was recently moved to call Malinverni, “audacious and exquisite”. Since coming to New York in 1981, Pete has established himself as a highly respected presence in local and national club and concert performances, as well as abroad in Europe, South America, and Japan, his work earning him an entry in the Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz, as compiled by Ira Gitler and Leonard Feather. Writing in the Charleston (SC) Post and Courier, Jack McCray called him “a fiery but elegant pianist”, and his varied collaborations stand as testament to his abilities. He’s performed or recorded in the company of jazz luminaries too numerous to mention, exhibiting what Enso Fresia of Italy’s Musica Jazz called “an extremely unconstrained and brilliant pianism”. His much- lauded 2003 NPR appearance on Marian McPartland’s “Piano Jazz” put Malinverni before a greater public and his recordings have earned four star reviews and inclusion on “Year’s Best” lists in several publications, including Down Beat Magazine.
Pete Malinverni is a composer, too. In a four-star review in All About Jazz, Rick Anderson noted, “the jazz world is full of pianists and composers with formidable chops, but it's rare to find musicians as accomplished as Pete Malinverni who write with his level of insightful straightforwardness or play with his kind of elegant approachability.” Likewise, Dave McElfresh said in Jazz Now that “Malinverni’s writing makes as much of an impact as his playing”. A composer of great depth, passion and individuality, he has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Meet the Composer Foundation and contributed works to programs sponsored by, among others, the Jazz Composers’ Collective. His music for piano trio was featured on a WNYC/NPR broadcast concert for Chamber Music America at New York’s Symphony Space. Not only have his vehicles for jazz improvisation been described by Gary Giddins in the Village Voice as “knotty and original”, but musicians and public alike agree with McElfresh in Jazz Now that Malinverni’s ballad “This Time”, the title track of his third recording as leader, is “truly the stuff standards are made of”. Since 1993 Pete has served as church musician at the Devoe Street Baptist Church in Brooklyn, NY, exposing him to the music of the African-American church, and his suites for gospel choir and jazz ensemble based on the Psalms of David demonstrate his abilities as a composer on a grander scale. The 2006 release, Joyful!, a well- received CD/DVD recording of a live concert of Pete's music for Gospel Choir and Jazz Ensemble with ArtistShare spotlighted Malinverni’s Gospel/Jazz compositions.
A native of Niagara Falls, NY, Pete Malinverni began classical piano studies with local legend Laura Copia at the tender age of six, earned a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the prestigious Crane School of Music in upstate New York, and took his Master of Music degree from the Purchase (NY) Conservatory of Music, where he studied piano and composition with Anthony Newman, the man Wynton Marsalis called the “high priest of Bach”. Subsequent studies include intensive work with the famed Sophia Rosoff. Remembering well the learning process, he is a teacher much in demand, having served as Professor on the Jazz faculties of New York University, William Paterson University, and, currently, the Purchase Conservatory. He has also taught Jazz Appreciation to non-music majors at NYU, and Classical Ear Training at Purchase. NYU’s Continuing Professional Studies Program honored him with the Marc Crawford Jazz Educator Award, and he has successfully presented seminars and master classes in the U. S. and abroad. He has also demonstrated flair as a writer on music, penning CD liner notes as well as contributing to periodicals such as The Piano Stylist and The Record Review. On several occasions his letters have been published in Jazz Times and Down Beat.
In his four-star Down Beat review, Paul de Barros said, “Pete Malinverni doesn’t seem capable of playing a dishonest line”, and it is this unaffected, pure approach to music of real depth which draws audiences and students alike to Malinverni’s appearances. Through the release of Pete’s six recording as a leader, “Don’t Be Shy”, “The Spirit”, “This Time”, “A Very Good Year”, “Of One Mind”, “Autumn In New York” and “The Tempest”, and, March 21, 2006, “Theme and Variations”, the six most recent on Reservoir Music, one views the development of what Stuart Troup, in a feature article in New York Newsday, has called “a supple player, full of nuance”.