Scott Gwinnell

From MusicWiki Detroit
Jump to: navigation, search
Scott Gwinnell.jpeg
Scott Gwinnell is a pianist/composer/arranger/educator who has grown up in Detroit and has played professionally since the early 1990s. One of the most active freelance musicians in Detroit and the Midwest Gwinnell, a pianist, composer, and educator has performed, recorded, and/or toured with: Joe Lovano, Dave Liebman, Richie Cole, Jimmy Heath, Delfayo Marsalis, John Clayton, and Jon Hendricks, for whom he was music director for 3 years. He has played on 20+ records as a sideman. As a Detroit Music Factory artist, Scott has recently released his new album, "Cass Corridor Story". The album has won 2 awards from Detroit Music Awards including best jazz CD and best jazz composer.

Gwinnell directs an award-winning, internationally renowned 16 piece jazz band, The Scott Gwinnell Jazz Orchestra. The SGJO has recorded 2 CDs, the last, Brush Fire, winning "best jazz recording", "and best jazz group", in the 2010 Detroit Music Awards

As a BMI composer, he has written over 300 works, from solo piano to symphony orchestra, and has been awarded or recognized by: Downbeat Magazine, Detroit Music Awards, IAJE, amongst others.

Gwinnell has taught full and part time at U of Toledo, Bowling Green SU, and Wayne County CC. He currently teaches at Oakland University where he holds position of Lecturer. At OU Scott directs the Oakland Jazz Singers, and is in charge of the jazz piano studio. Scott is also the Director of Jazz Vocal Education at Music Hall Center for Performing Arts, in Detroit. . Besides being an active clinician, Scott is also the director and creator of the Metro-Detroit Jazz Workshop.


Scott began studying piano at the age of 6 and trombone at the age of 10. At 14, Scott began lessons with renowned jazz pianist, Bess Bonnier, who encouraged him, along with studying jazz improvisation, to compose and arrange small and large ensemble music. Duke Ellington and Count Basie were early heroes, and his first big band arrangements, written at 15, were hugely influenced by both pianist/bandleaders. Also beginning his professional piano/trombone career at 15, Scott began playing solo and combo gigs around Detroit, playing with local musicians, George Benson, Don Mayberry, and Paul Keller.

After attending Western Michigan University and Wayne State University, where Scott received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree, he started to play in the bands of Steve Wood, Larry Nozero, Marcus Belgrave, and Brad Felt. At Wayne State, Scott studied with piano master, Matt Michaels, and vibist, Rob Pipho, who gave him a well-rounded jazz education.

External Links