Peter Zummo has been composing since 1967 and has performed his works for solo tombone and ensemble worldwide. His work has been associated with the contemporary classical tradition, in combination with or juxtaposition to the minimal, jazz, world music, and so-called art-rock styles. He has pioneered new approaches to instrumental technique on the trombone and also uses the valve trombone, dijeridoo, euphonium, synthesizers and other electronics and his voice in performance. Zummo's many compositions for ensemble build on original melody and melodic fragments, generating interactive situations for musicians in which they explore the boundaries of common and extended practice, without, however, having to act arbitrarily. Zummo has created and led ensembles including The Peter Zummo Orchestras, Zummo Labs, The Environmental Combo, and The Intermediate Combo.
Venues for performances of Zummo's pieces have included the Brooklyn Academy of Music Next Wave Festival (Radical Filtering); City Center; Dance Theater Workshop; Interpretations Series/Merkin Hall (The Time Land Forgot); Lincoln Center Out Of Doors; Lotus Fine Arts (Semiotic Handgun); New Arts Program/Kutztown; Walker Art Center; Danspace; The Joyce Theatre; LaMama (Experimenting With Household Chemicals); New Music America; Experimental Intermedia Foundation (The Trombone That Devoured Cleveland); Boston Opera House (Fast Dream); Jacob's Pillow; Roulette (Subway Dream Music); Snug Harbor Cultural Center (music for The Passage II); the American Center in Paris, Seibu in Tokyo, and Logos Foundation in Ghent. His work has been funded by the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, Jerome Foundation, the Helen W. Buckner Charitable Trust, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, Meet The Composer, The Phaedrus Foundation, The Council on the Arts for Staten Island, and the New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship program, among others.
Choreographic commissions include Trisha Brown's Newark (with Donald Judd) and Lateral Pass, which won a Bessie award; David Dorfman's Careful Aim, which was commissioned by the Meet The Composer's Composer/Choreographer program, and Out of Season; Risa Jaroslow's Shuffled Hearts and Great Escapes; Irene Hultman's Gruff; Randy Warshaw's Shutter; Jonathan Appels' Fields and Stars and Coco Grille, Debra Wanner's For Virginia; and numerous works with Stephanie Woodard. Zummo also performs and composes for the Downtown Ensemble and has developed and performed seminal works for many composers, including David Behrman, Rhys Chatham, Anthony Coleman, Dan Froot, Jon Gibson, Daniel Goode, Peter Gordon, Tom Hamilton, William Hellermann, Guy Klucevsek, Joan LaBarbara, Steve Lacy, Annea Lockwood, Alvin Lucier, Jon Lurie, Phill Niblock, Arthur Russell and Yoshi Wada.
Zummo's principal trombone training was with Carmine Caruso; additional studies were with Stuart Dempster, James Fulkerson, Dick Griffin, Ken McIntyre, Sam Rivers, and Roswell Rudd. Zummo holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Wesleyan University's world music program. Influential studies there included electronic music with Alvin Lucier; western classical choral and instrumental music; Ghanaian, South Indian, Javanese and other world musics; and introductions to the work of Robert Ashley, John Cage, Takehisa Kosugi, Yasunao Tone, and Christian Wolff.
Recorded releases include Zummo With an X, on Loris Records, Experimenting
With Household Chemicals, on XI, and numerous recordings for composers and
ensembles, as well as many more recordings with popular, jazz, and rock