Musician, Composer, Professor


Professor, Scholar, Author

Joseph Michael Pignato holds the position of Professor in the Department of Music at SUNY Oneonta, where he teaches music industry courses, beat production, and directs ensembles that perform experimental music and improvised rock.

Pignato has received numerous awards for excellence in scholarship, creative activity, teaching, and advising. Notable recognitions include the Susan Sutton Smith Award for Academic Excellence, recognition as an international “Thought Leader” in the field of music (SUNY Oneonta President’s Report), and the State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities. The Chancellor’s Award is the highest academic award bestowed on teaching faculty in the SUNY system. 

As a scholar, Pignato has presented research on five continents, publishing on composition, improvisation, music teaching and learning, music technology, and drumming. Publications appear in peer reviewed journals, edited volumes, anthologies, and practitioner journals. He is a principal investigator for and co-author of “The Music Learning Profiles Project: Let’s Take This Outside,” published by Routledge in 2017 and serves as a lead editor for the "Cambridge Companion to the Drum Kit," due out on Cambridge University Press in 2020.

Professor Pignato holds degrees from Boston University (D.M.A.), where he was a Tanglewood Scholar, New York University (M.A.), where he studied composition with Dinu Ghezzo, and the University of Massachusetts (B.A.), where he studied composition with Yusef Lateef. In addition, Pignato has studied drum set with noted pedagogue Sal La Rocca and drum icon Max Roach.


Recent Scholarship