Peter Dragotta is a composer, wind synthesist, brass instrumentalist, producer, and leader of the electro/creative music ensemble pharmacopia. For over 20 years he has connected his jazz origins with ambient, house, electronica and break beats, as well as elements from hip hop, rock, pop, and classical music melding them into soundscapes of deep intensity.
Before being an active musician/composer, Dragotta started his career behind the scenes on the business side of the music industry starting in 1984 promoting artists and bands like Tina Turner, Duran Duran, Iron Maiden, and The Pet Shop Boys for Capitol-EMI. While there he also worked at Blue Note Records in college radio promotions during the 1985 re- launch of the label. He then moved over to Top 40 radio in 1986 as the Assistant Promotions Director and On-Air Personality at New York City's Z-100. There he took advantage of his on-air personality “Party Patrol Pete” and played trumpet and percussion at station sponsored events with artists such as Gloria Estefan, The Beach Boys, DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince, and Harry Bellefonte.
Wanting to focus more on playing and performing his own improv based music, in 1991 Dragotta left the radio industry and formed the band The James Quintet with rockers Robert Sharkey of Industrial Teepee on guitar and Claude Coleman Jr. of Ween on drums. Joining them was Steven Decker on bass, and his brother Chris Dragotta on alto sax. The James Quintet had a steady running Thursday night gig at the 55 Bar in New York City from 1992 to 1993. Dragotta's music is heavily influenced by the creative jazz spirit of Ornette Coleman, The Art Ensemble of Chicago and the 1970's electric period of Miles Davis with the DJ culture of electronic and ambient music.