Described by All About Jazz as “a musician with a burning desire to explore,” John Petrucelli is an award-winning saxophonist, composer, and scholar whose work weaves cutting-edge performance practices with contemporary research methods that challenge the borders and boundaries of jazz, classical, and electronic music.
Petrucelli’s artistic practice includes mentorship and performance with legendary members of the jazz tradition including Geri Allen, Victor Lewis, Ralph Bowen, Charles Tolliver, Carl Allen, Sean Jones, Delfeayo Marsalis, Conrad Herwig, Terence Blanchard, Lewis Porter, and Stanley Cowell. He has recorded three critically acclaimed albums as a leader: The Way (2015), Mischievous Minx (2017), and Presence (2018).
Petrucelli’s research explores the notion of nested knowledge, applying the concept to analyzing the Wayne Shorter Quartet in his dissertation “Beyond the Sound Barrier; Improvisation, Repertoire and Narrativity in the Wayne Shorter Quartet 2000-2015.” He has presented on topics ranging from Anthony Davis’ opera X to voice and vocality in the timbre of jazz saxophonists, as well as explorations of the function and meaning of popular music in contemporary jazz repertoire. He has published two books through Score Muse Publishing Company: Warne Marsh: The Unissued Copenhagen Studio Recordings: Transcriptions for Bb/Concert Instruments (2013) and Unsung Hero: Transcriptions of Tenor Saxophonist Charlie Rouse (2022).
Petrucelli holds a PhD in music from the University of Pittsburgh, an MA in jazz history and research from Rutgers University-Newark, an MM in jazz studies from Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts, and a BA in philosophy from the University of Virginia.
Prior to beginning the James R. ’58 and Susan Neumann Postdoctoral Fellowship at Oberlin in 2022, Petrucelli taught at Rutgers University, University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, and Northeastern State University while maintaining an active schedule of performances, residencies, and master classes. Most recently, he served as visiting director of jazz at the University of Utah (2019-22). For more information, please visit www.johnpetrucellisax.com.