Marco Pignataro is a multitalented saxophone player, composer, and educator originally from Bologna, Italy. He has shared stages with artists such as Eddie Gomez, Joanne Brackeen, Danilo Pérez, George Garzone, John Patitucci, Rufus Reid, Kenwood Dennard, Terri Lyne Carrington, Antonio Sanchez, Ben Street, Brian Lynch, Billy Drummond, Billy Hart, Victor Lewis, Clark Terry, and Jon Faddis, among others.
He performs and tours internationally with several musical groups, including the Marco Pignataro Almas Antiguas Quartet and the Eddie Gomez Quintet, which is featured on the widely acclaimed CD Per Sempre (BFM Records). Pignataro’s CD, Sofia’s Heart, was also produced by jazz legend Eddie Gomez and features Pignataro’s compositions and arrangements. Pignataro's latest recording for Zoho Records, Almas Antiguas, features a stellar band including Eddie Gomez on bass, Alan Pasqua on piano, Adam Cruz on drums, and George Garzone on tenor saxophone. The music is evocative and powerful, blending modern jazz with shades of Mediterranean, folk, and Latin influences and very lyrical melodies throughout the CD.
Pignataro was the director and cofounder of the Jazz and Caribbean Music Department and chair of the Jazz Saxophone Department at the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico. He was also a board member of the International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE), the president and founder of the IAJE chapter in Puerto Rico, and a faculty member at the University of Veracruz International Summer Jazz Seminars. His column, "Style and Influence," was regularly featured in the quarterly magazine Jazz Improv. Currently, Pignataro serves as the artistic director for the Dominican Republic Jazz Festival and the educational adviser for the humanitarian foundation Fedujazz in the Dominican Republic, using music as a tool for social change. He's a D’Addario Woodwind Performing Artist and endorser for Applied Microphone Technology Wireless System, EGR Ligatures, and Mauriat and Lupifaro saxophones.