Dr. Joseph Pignato, Assistant Professor,
Year Hired: 2004
Tenure Status: Eligible 2014
Doctor of Musical Arts – Boston University, (2010)
Master of Arts - New York University - Gallatin School, (1996)
Bachelor of Arts - University of Massachusetts, (1989)
Joseph Michael Pignato is a composer, improviser, and music education scholar with extensive graduate, undergraduate, secondary, and distance teaching experience. He holds the position of Associate Professor in the Department of Music at the State University of New York, Oneonta, where he teaches music industry courses and directs two ensembles that perform experimental music and improvised rock, among other repertoires.
Pignato has received numerous awards for excellence in scholarship, creative activity, advising, and teaching and has been awarded multiple grants for travel, professional development, research, and creative works. In 2012, he was awarded the State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities, the highest academic award bestowed on teaching faculty in the SUNY system. In addition, Pignato has been honored with the Student Association award for Faculty Advisor of the Year and has been twice recognized as “Outstanding Faculty” by the SUNY Oneonta Inter-Greek Council.
As a musician, Pignato has given performances and clinics in the United States and abroad. He is a member of Martin Gadget, a quartet with Israeli musicians Ilan Green, Yoni Niv, and Lior Pinsky. Pignato is also in demand as a drummer, working under the moniker u.joe. DJs, producers, and remix artists, including internationally renowned DJ M A N I K and rising producer Mr. Temmtation, have sought out his drumming. Dr. Drums, a London-based journalist opined, “Swings like Bonham hugging Questlove.” For nearly a decade, Pignato played with atom3, an electro-acoustic trio featuring the late Orlando Legname. He continues to enjoy ongoing collaborations with Paul Geluso, the trio’s other surviving member.
Pignato’s original music, described as “haunting” by New Haven’s Charger Bulletin, has been premiered, performed, or exhibited as part of installations in North America, Europe, the Mid East, and beyond. In 2012, the MusraraMix Festival in Jerusalem described his work for distributed ensembles as “fascinating experimental collaboration” that could “broaden the horizons of interdisciplinary web composition.” Consequently, Pignato enjoys ongoing collaborations with the Musrara School, the Festival’s sponsor, and noted Israeli composers Kiki Keren-Huss and Lior Pinsky.
In 2012, “Paprika King,” one of Pignato’s most widely distributed scores, was featured in the Streaming Museum’s John Cage Centennial Tribute/Composers Now festival, as part of a multimedia presentation projected across high visibility public screens on seven continents, including the Reuters and NASDAQ screens in Times Square, New York, Federation Square in Melbourne, Australia, seven locations in the United Kingdom, and locations in the United States, Buenos Aires, Madrid, Shanghai, St. Petersburg, Tokyo, Seoul, Johannesburg, Berlin, and Antarctica.
As a scholar, Pignato has presented research on five continents. He currently serves as the editor of Pop! The Journal of the Association for Popular Music Education and on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Popular Music Education. In addition, Pignato has published in the “Journal of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music” (2015), “Research Studies in Music Education” (2013), the “International Journal of Community Music” (2013), the “College Music Symposium Audio Archive” (2013), “Tanglewood II” (GIA, 2012), “Notations21” (Mark Batty Publishers, 2009), and “Modern Drummer” (2013). Forthcoming publications include chapters in the “Oxford Handbook of Technology in Music Education” (2015) and a chapter in the “Oxford Handbook of Music and Leisure” (2016). He is one of the principal investigators for the Music Learning Profiles Project, an international research initiative that documents music learning that occurs outside the bounds of traditional institutional learning.
In addition to his scholarly and creative activities, Pignato has more than 25 years of experience in music business and media including management positions at N2K Incorporated, BMG Classics, RCA Victor, ECM Records, CMP Records, and Latin Percussion. He has been described as a “musician, educator, and music business visionary” in Tape Op Magazine. Drawing on his formidable expertise, Pignato consults organizations in the areas of music and music education. Recent projects include consulting colleges on the development of degree programs in music industry and recording technology. Pignato, a member of the Modern Band Think Tank, an advisory board for the not for profit organization Little Kids Rock, has also served as an advisor to Steven Van Zandt (Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band and HBO’s The Soprano’s) on the early stages of development for Rock and Roll, An American Story; a rock music curriculum published by Scholastic, Inc.
Beyond SUNY Oneonta, Pignato facilitates graduate courses and supervises doctoral research in the College of Fine Arts, Department of Music Education at Boston University. He is affiliated faculty at the Musrara School in Jerusalem, Israel where he serves as point person for an international exchange program between the Israeli art school and SUNY Oneonta. In the past, he has supervised undergraduate honors dissertations for the B.A. in Contemporary Music program at London’s Institute for Contemporary Music, has served on the faculties of Ramapo College of New Jersey teaching music industry, Bergen Community College teaching graduate courses in education, and the Hoboken Charter School, where he served as founding faculty member and lead teacher for humanities and music.
Pignato holds degrees from Boston University (D.M.A.), where he was a Tanglewood Scholar, New York University (M.A.), where he studied composition with Dinu Ghezzo, and the University of Massachusetts (B.A.), where he studied composition with Yusef Lateef. In addition, he has studied drum set with Sal La Rocca and Max Roach. Pignato endorses Taye Drums, T-Cymbals Handmade Turkish Cymbals, and Boso Drumsticks.
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