Marco Pignataro is a Boston-based saxophone player, composer and educator. Originally from Bologna, Italy, he studied classical music at the Bruno Maderna Conservatory of Music and jazz at the University of Miami and Florida International University. Marco is currently the Managing Director of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute (BGJI), the premiere jazz program at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Together with Artistic Director Danilo Perez, Marco works to promote the BGJI as a center of musical creativity designed to foster creativity and musicianship through a variety of musical disciplines and with intensive access to world-class visiting artists. Previously, Marco was the director and co-founder of the Jazz and Caribbean Music Department and the Jazz Saxophone Chair at the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico. As a dedicated music educator, Marco has also served as Board Member of the International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE), President and founder of the IAJE Chapter of Puerto Rico, and as a faculty member in the University of Veracruz International Summer Jazz Seminars.
Marco not only performs music, he writes about it. His column “Style & Influence” was regularly featured in the quarterly magazine Jazz Improv, and as a reviewer and columnist, he has conducted interviews with Branford Marsalis, Jerry Bergonzi, Danilo Perez, David Sánchez, and Miguel Zenón.
Marco maintains a very active international schedule of concerts, recordings, and clinics, and has shared stages with such notable artists as Eddie Gomez, Joanne Brackeen, and George Garzone. Marco performs with several musical groups including the Marco Pignataro Jazzet, the Up-South Project and the Marco Pignataro Trio Más (+). His latest CD release, “Sofia’s Heart,” was produced by jazz legend Eddie Gomez and features Marco’s compositions and arrangements. “Sofia’s Heart” was recorded in Philadelphia with a stellar group composed of artists Eddie Gomez, Bill Drummond, Matt Marvuglio, and Mark Kramer. Marco also tours internationally as a member of the Eddie Gomez Quintet and his playing and compositions are featured in the widely acclaimed quintet CD “Per Sempre,” recently released on BFM Records.
Pignataro and the BGJI recently returned from a week in Chile, where they took part in the first ever Chile Jazz Festival for Peace. One of the international groups invited to the nation’s capital of Santiago, BGJI provided master classes and concerts to large at-risk communities, as well as performances in the home of Nobel Prize winning author Pablo Neruda and the Gabriel Mistral Cultural Center.
For the second time, Marco will travel with BGJI to Africa under the umbrella of a U.S. State Department grant. Visiting Gabon and Cameroon from May 12 to 24, BGJI students will participate in a cultural exchange of music and art (to see video from the first tour, please visit here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxxMqUWwh9).