Associate Professor of Jazz Studies
“When Pete Malinverni plays, the people listen,” observed Patricia O’Haire in the New York Daily News. That’s no mean feat in the mecca of jazz. Since coming to New York in 1981, Malinverni has established himself as a highly respected presence in local club and concert performances, as well as abroad in Europe, South America, and Japan. He has performed or recorded in the company of Joe Lovano, James Spaulding, Joe Romano, Charles Davis, Clark Terry, Major Holley, Rufus Reid, Michael Moore, Vernel Fournier, Mel Lewis, Jimmy Cobb, and Billy Higgins, to mention just a few, exhibiting what Enzo Fresia of Italy’s Musica Jazz called an extremely unconstrained and brilliant pianism.
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. Not only have his vehicles for jazz improvisation been described by Gary Giddins in the Village Voice as knotty and original, but musicians and the 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, N.Y., exposing him to the music of the African-American church, and “Make a Joyful Noise” and “Oh, My Soul,” his suites for vocal choir and jazz quartet based on the Psalms of David, demonstrate his abilities as a composer on a grander scale.
A native of Niagara Falls, N.Y., Malinverni began classical piano studies with Laura Copia at the tender age of seven, earned a bachelor’s degree in music education from the prestigious Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam and his Master of Music degree from the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College, where he studied piano and composition with the famed Anthony Newman. He has remembered well the learning process and is a teacher much in demand, serving on the jazz faculties of New York University, William Paterson University, and the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College. He has also taught jazz appreciation to non-music majors at New York University and classical ear training at Purchase. In 1999, he was honored with NYU’s Marc Crawford Jazz Educator Award, and he has successfully presented seminars and master classes in the U.S. and abroad. In recent years he has begun to explore his talents as a writer on music, writing liner notes and contributing to such periodicals as The Piano Stylist and The Record Review. On several occasions his letters have been published in Jazz Times and Downbeat.
Through the release of Malinverni’s six recordings as a leader—“Don’t Be Shy,” “The Spirit,” “This Time,” “A Very Good Year,” “Of One Mind,” and “Simpatico”—one views the development of what Stuart Troup, in a feature article in New York Newsday, has called “… a supple player full of nuance.”