Peter Mazza is a jazz guitarist, composer, educator and jazz venue-Music Director born and raised in New York City. He earned degrees from The Manhattan School and Music and The Juilliard School, and was a Thelonious Monk Competition semi-finalist.
He began performing in NYC over 30 years ago with some of the most outstanding musicians of his generation including Chris Potter, Joel Frahm, Rick Margitza, Roy Hargrove, Brad Mehldau, Christian McBride, Greg Hutchinson, Jeff Ballard, Jorge Rossi, among others, and has performed with jazz legends like Wynton Marsalis and Jimmy McGriff.
He has appeared in duos with fellow guitarists across an array of musical generations, from John Pisano, Gene Bertoncini, Mundell Lowe, Jack Wilkins, Barry Greene, Pete Bernstein, Freddie Bryant and Paul Bollenback, to Kurt Rosenwinkel, Jonathan Kreisberg, Mike Moreno, Yotam Silberstein, Pasquale Grasso, Dan Wilson and Chico Pinheiro to name a few.
His groups have performed at Birdland, Dizzy’s Club, Mezzrow, Smalls,The Cornelia Street Café and the 55 Bar in New York City, and at jazz clubs throughout the USA, in Argentina, Japan and Israel. He has retained a Sunday night residency at New York’s most respected venue for guitar-led trios, the Bar Next Door at La Lanterna in Greenwich Village, which is now in its 20th successful year prior to Coronavirus.
His most recent groups feature ongoing creative collaborations with Misha Tsiganov on Piano, and Tamir Schmerling, Gianluca Renzi or Peter Slavov on Bass, but have included Mark Ferber, EJ Strickland, Hendrik Meurkens, John Ellis, Will Vinson, Donny McCaslin, Jon Irabagon, Etienne Charles, Hans Glawischnig, Matt Penman, Ben Williams, Joe Martin, Ari Hoenig, Lucas Pino, Andrew Gould and Benny Benack among many others.
Peter’s harmonically rich and virtuosic solo playing and performance videos on you tube and Facebook have earned him a substantial following and vibrant online teaching studio from around the world.
Building on a longtime growing presence on social media, he developed a diverse ongoing series of live online group course called CHORD MELODY FROM THE GROUND UP that has garnered the attention and participation of guitarists around the world, despite the impact that Covid-19 has had on live performing and teaching.
His debut course on True Fire titled “Harmonic Supernova for Jazz” presents over 3 hours of harmonic (and rhythmic) concepts for chordal and linear harmony. The company’s CEO, Brad Wendkos called it the “Chord Chemistry” of this generation, comparing it to guitarist Ted Greene’s epic book.
Peter is an in-demand traveling guest artist and clinician who has been invited to appear at NYU, MSM, The Peabody Institute, UC-Denver, University of North Texas, University of Northern Colorado, University of Southern California, The Musician’s Institute (Los Angeles), University of North Florida, Georgia State University, Kennesaw State University, Capital University, University of Louisville, as well as Savannah Arts Academy and the New World School of the Arts in Miami.
In the changing times of the Covid-19, Peter has presented online workshop for the London Jazz Guitar Society, and performed for the Sound Cellar’s (Poole, UK) ongoing concert series moved online, then for the Old Town School of Folk and Jazz (Chicago) and as guest teaching artist on “Tune World”, the online course led by master guitarist, Rodney Jones
His first CD called “Through My Eyes (2007 Late Set Records/Tokyo) featured a core quartet with Will Vinson on saxophones, Mat Penman Bass and Bill Campbell on Drums playing 8 of Peter’s original compositions, then two original arrangements of standards. He then texturized the quartet tracks with multiple tracks overdubs of acoustic and electric guitars in different unusual tunings. These compositions drew from jazz, classical, rock, folk, blues and funk styles.
His most recent CD called Circles and Lines (2014 Urban Flower Records) featured his guitar/piano/bass trio performing his intricate and fresh arrangements of standards by the Jazz and American Songbook Composers.
Just Jazz Guitar magazine said about a recent Peter Mazza performance-
“It’s one thing to perform compositions that go through time modulations, meter changes, and reharmonizations; but, to do those things and make it seem effortless and of the highest musicality is a rarity…”
Jazz Inside Magazine said about another recent Peter Mazza performance-
“A guitarist with an instantly recognizable voice, his original compositions are joyous whirlwinds of thematic expression, rich with emotion and personality. Both vulnerable and commanding, he puts it all on the line and goes for it, the experience is thrilling.”