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Pete McGuinness

Originally from West Hartford, CT, Pete’s been a fixture on the NYC jazz scene since 1987. Before that, Pete studied at New England Conservatory (1981-83), University of Miami (1986, BM is jazz studies) and Manhattan School of Music (MM in jazz studies). As a professional trombonist (now retired from playing), he performed with numerous well-known artists and groups including the Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra, The Woody Herman Big Band (dir. by Frank Tibieri), The Lionel Hampton Orchestra, Jimmy Heath, Kenny Werner, Dave Pietro, the “Smoke Big Band” directed by Bill Mobley, and from 1997 - 2019 was a regular member of the New York BMI Jazz Composers Workshop Orchestra. He also is a three-time GRAMMY-nominated big band arranger, a multi- award winning jazz vocalist, and leader of his own big band The Pete McGuinness Jazz Orchestra. The PMJO has released three CDs since 2007, the latest being “Along For The Ride” (2018, Summit records) gaining a “4 stars” review in Downbeat magazine. Numerous jazz artists and both college and professional big bands have commissioned Pete to compose/arrange music, including commissions from Dave Liebman, The Lionel Hampton Orchestra, The Swiss Jazz Orchestra, The Westchester Jazz Orchestra and The University of Miami (Fl.). He appears on over 50 jazz CDs, either as either a trombonist, composer-arranger, vocalist, or producer, and has released a total of 5 CDs as a leader since 1998. He has appeared on the Downbeat Magazine critics poll six times since 2007 in either the jazz arranger or male jazz vocalist category (“Rising Star”). Since 2016, he has been the tenor vocalist/contributing arranger of a new NYC-based jazz vocal quartet, “The Royal Bopsters”. Pete is currently an Associate Professor of Music/Jazz Studies-Arranging at William Paterson University in Wayne, NJ.


-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. -Nominated for TWO 2015 GRAMMY Awards for his arranging work on the CD "Strength In Numbers" (Summit) (for the arrangements of "Beautiful Dreamer" and "What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?"


Album Review
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"A musical multi-threat...McGuinness lays out music that is modern-minded, yet swinging." —The Newark Star-Ledger

"4-stars...stunning" -Downbeat magazine

Primary Instrument


Willing to teach

Advanced 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.

Clinic/Workshop 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

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Chet Baker
trumpet and vocals
Maria Schneider
composer / conductor
Bob Brookmeyer
Gil Evans
composer / conductor
Thad Jones


Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

A Bi-Coastal Christmas

Self Produced


Along for the Ride

Summit Records


Hiding Out

Zoho Music


Strength in Numbers

Summit Records


Voice Like A Horn

Summit Records



Sunnyside Records



From: Hiding Out
By Pete McGuinness

First Flight

From: First Flight
By Pete McGuinness


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