John Petrucelli’s (PhD 2018) new album Presence will be released on October 2. The album was recorded live at the New Hazlett Theater when Petrucelli presented his ambitious project as part of the New Hazlett’s CSA (Community Supported Art) initiative. The multi-movement work is scored for jazz quintet (tenor sax, piano, drums, bass, and guitar) with a string quartet and electronics.
Petrucelli came to Pitt in 2013 to pursue his PhD in Jazz Studies. While at Pitt he was able to benefit from the Department of Music’s interdisciplinary approach. In an interview with Recital prior to his CSA performance, Petrucelli said,
“I started studying composition with Geri Allen and Amy Williams simultaneously. Taking lessons with both of these incredible composer/pianists changed my writing and my perspective on music.”
Presence is already making a strong impression in jazz circles. A recent review in All About Jazz praises
“… Petrucelli's compositional abilities and commitment to integrity in performance. "Field of Heaven" presents serene, pastoral textures that give way to a playful rhythmic-romp before returning home to the pasture. In "Summon the Spirit," harmonic contours from the strings and piano support floating melodies. Petrucelli's solo unfolds like a story.”
This fall, Petrucelli achieved another significant milestone having been appointed Assistant Professor and Director of Jazz at Northeastern State University. The new academic position, combined with the forthcoming album, demonstrate how John Petrucelli will continue to be a positive and energetic presence in jazz studies and performance.
Watch an excerpt from Presence.