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Scott Gwinnell


Jazz Pianist / Composer / Educator

Contact: [email protected]

Links:  Visit Scott Gwinnell's website

Scott Gwinnell 
is a professional jazz pianist residing in Detroit, MI. Scott has been performing since the age of 16 in venues and on concert stages, local to international. Scott has recorded and performed as a bandleader and sideman on over 50 professionally released recordings. As a recording-artist for Detroit Music Factory, Scott has released two award-winning albums, Cass Corridor Story and Mulgrew-ology, the latter winning three Detroit Music Awards for outstanding recording, artist, and composer. The recording rose to #32 in the international jazz charts and played/streamed on radio stations around the world. Mulgrew-ology was recorded by the Scott Gwinnell Jazz Orchestra, a 16-piece, big band organized by Gwinnell in 1999. The ensemble is dedicated to playing compositions and arrangements by the leader. As a pianist, Gwinnell has performed/toured/recorded with: Dizzy Gillespie, Jimmy Heath, John Clayton, Dave Liebman, Joe Lovano, Aretha Franklin, Elaine Stritch, Delfayeo Marsalis, and Jon Hendricks, for whom Gwinnell was three-year musical director.

As a BMI composer, Scott Gwinnell has written over 400 works from symphony orchestra to big band to small ensemble. His compositions and arrangements have been played around the world by various groups. Gwinnell has scored two films, the most recent being Vincent van Gogh--70 Days in Laois. Gwinnell composed and scripted the musical, Bebop in 2012, based on the life of Charlie Parker, and wrote string arrangements for, Paul King with Strings, a string quartet and rhythm section featuring Detroit crooner, Paul King. In 2009, Scott was commissioned to partner with jazz composer John Clayton to write “T.H.E. Detroit.” Performed by the Scott Gwinnell Jazz Orchestra, this 40-minute, 3 movement opus was the closing act of the 2009 Detroit Jazz Festival.

As a music educator, Gwinnell is a special lecturer at Oakland University where he instructs jazz theory, improvisation, arranging, and history. He is the director of their jazz vocal groups and performs piano in the faculty jazz ensemble. In the pandemic year of 2020-21, Gwinnell was awarded as Oakland University’s Ketih A. Pretty Online Teacher of the Year. Gwinnell is the Director of Jazz Education at Music Hall Performing Arts Center where among other duties, he is tasked with creating and operating music programs with the Detroit Public School system; this includes their flagship K-12 school, Detroit-Marygrove. Gwinnell is also an adjunct faculty member at University of Toledo and in Michigan State University’s Community Music School program. In 2009, Gwinnell created the Detroit Jazz Workshop, an expansive summer jazz workshop that caters to musicians of all backgrounds, ages, and instruments. Now in their 13th year, the DJW draws students internationally to Detroit. Gwinnell serves on the board of directors at the Michigan Jazz Festival and is a clinician in Midwestern high schools and universities.

Gwinnell in his spare time enjoys films, tennis, architecture, music editing, and spending time with his lovely wife of 15 years, Delaine.

School of Music, Theatre and Dance

Varner Hall, Room 207
371 Varner Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4485
(location map)
Academic Office: (248) 370-2030
Box Office: (248) 370-3013
Fax: (248) 370-2041