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Oscar Penas

“The music will certainly leave the listener with a joyful and playful feeling; Peñas’ focus on making good heartfelt music is a breath of fresh air.” JazzTimes.

Barcelona-born guitarist, arranger, and composer Oscar Peñas was already a widely respected figure on the international jazz scene before settling in New York City a decade ago. Since then, he's genuinely blossomed, creating a singular body of work that weaves together elements of jazz, Spanish folk music, and the European classical tradition.

He often works with unorthodox instrumentation, he doesn't blend disparate influences so much as stitch them together with an internal emotional logic. Peñas established a vital new voice in New York with two critically hailed albums, most recently 2014's Music of Departures and Returns featuring Gil Goldstein, Paquito D'Rivera, and Esperanza Spalding. His latest project Almadraba, inspired by the ancient sustainable fishing practices in Andalusia, featured bass legend Ron Carter and premiered in 2018 at the BAM Next Wave Festival.

A major league talent with a capacious musical imagination, Peñas embodies the limitless promise of jazz's global reach.


South Arts Jazz Road 2022 grantee Mid Atlantic USAI 2021 grantee 20th Annual USA Songwriting Competition, Jazz, Finalist 2015 11th Annual IAMA (International Acoustic Music Awards), Finalist 2015 14th Annual Independent Music Awards, Jazz Instrumental Song, Finalist 2015 19th Annual USA Songwriting Competition, Instrumental Jazz, Finalist 2014 ASCAP Plus Award, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 Professional Music Achievement Award, Berklee College of Music, 1999 Printed feature articles: Guitar Player, Downbeat, Jazziz, JazzTimes, Smithsonian, All About Jazz, ASCAP Audio Portraits, Chicago Hoy, El Nuevo Dia, Puerto Rico, La Vanguardia, Avui, El Periódico de Cataluña. Radio: WBGO, WPTZ-News Channel 5, WNYC-Soundcheck, The Phoenix-WNYU, Via Lluire-Rac1, L’Home del Jazz-RNE4, Sonideros-RNE3, Radio Rebelde, Radio Marti, TSFJazz, Radio France - Open Jazz - France Musique, Abu Dhabi Classic FM, JAZZ.FM91- Canada.


Album Review
Album Review
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"It's always great fun to play good music.. and Oscar Peñas provides the music and talent to make this fun possible." - Ron Carter.

"A seamless synthesis of musical idioms and artistic disciplines." - By Phillip Lutz, Downbeat Magazine

"Oscar is a beautiful player with a totally unique sense of sound and color in his writing..." - Esperanza Spalding

"Oscar Peñas has a very well-traveled musical passport. Born in Spain, he sounds like a citizen of the world, crossing musical borders with quick and sure footing. I have seen his style develop and expand in the past five years I have known him and have been happy to be a passenger on his journeys. I am sure he will continue to develop and expand and we all wait for his next musical travels." - Gil Goldstein

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Primary Instrument



New York City

Willing to teach

Intermediate to advanced


Teaching Experience Private Studio, Private Instructor, Brooklyn, NY, 2007- present ◦ Electric and classical guitar, jazz harmony and ear training 92Y School of the Arts, New York City, NY, Faculty, 2012- 2019 ◦ Guitar teacher, group and individual lessons Community Roots Charter School, Faculty, Brooklyn, NY, 2010- 2011 ◦ After-school guitar, group guitar lessons Brooklyn Music School, Faculty, Brooklyn, NY, 2009- 2012 ◦ Taught guitar and jazz ensembles Taller de Músics, Faculty, Barcelona, Spain, 2000-05 ◦ Taught guitar, jazz ensembles, repertoire, and improvisation.

Clinic/Workshop Information

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Gil Evans
composer / conductor
Bill Frisell
guitar, electric
Egberto Gismonti
guitar, acoustic
Jim Hall
Pat Metheny
Astor Piazzolla



Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Chicken Or Pasta

Self Produced


Music Of Departures...

Self Produced


From Now On

Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records



Blue Moon


Spaghetti Western

From: Chicken Or Pasta
By Oscar Penas

Samuel Smith

From: From Now On
By Oscar Penas


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