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

Scott Gwinnell

Scott Gwinnell

 Scott Gwinnell    Scott Gwinnell
Jazz Piano 


Scott Gwinnell is a pianist/composer/arranger/educator who has grown up in Detroit and has played professionally since the early 1990s. His playing credits consist of performing, recording, and/or touring with the following artists: Aretha Franklin, Vanessa Williams, Roberta Flack, Joe Lovano, Richie Cole, Sheena Easton, Dave Liebman, Jimmy Heath, John Clayton, Marcus Belgrave, Delfayo Marsalis, Steve Turre, and Jon Hendricks, for whom Scott was music director for three years. He has been a sideman on over 20 professionally released recordings and has four records to his own name. These are: "Basement Vibes" (2002 WSG Records), "The Scott Gwinnell Trio" (2006 WSG Records), and the new, two?time Detroit Music Award winning recording, "Brush Fire" (2010 WSG Records). "Brush Fire" is performed by the Scott Gwinnell Jazz Orchestra, Scott's 16?piece ensemble. states, " Overall the band is tight, the spirited arrangements lean, listenable and balanced. Even those who are lukewarm on big band music should be sufficiently ignited by this brush fire."

As a BMI composer, Gwinnell has written over 300 works, from solo piano to symphony orchestra. He has written in every style, penning works for mediums like television, radio, and musical, to name a few. He is the recipient of many awards and acclaim for his composing, including recognition from: Detroit Music Awards, Downbeat Magazine, International Association of Jazz Educators, SEMJA, among others. As an educator, Gwinnell has taught in full and part time capacities at University of Toledo, Bowling Green State University, Wayne County Community College, and Oakland University where he presently teaches. He has conducted clinics of jazz improvisation, composition, arranging, history, and vocal jazz at many Universities and holds a small private studio of gifted students. He is also the 5?year director of the Metro?Detroit Jazz Workshop.

In April of 2012, Gwinnell received two Detroit Music Awards for, "Best Jazz Composer", and "Best Classical Composer." These are his 9th, and 10th honors from the DMAs. In 2012, he worked with Sheena Easton as music director for Music Hall’s, "Cars and Stars" performance/fundraiser. 

Scott Gwinnell currently records under Mack Ave.’s new label, Detroit Music Factory. His last album, “Cass Corridor Story” (2012), has been well?received, making top playlists of national and local radio stations. The centerpiece of the album is the Cass Corridor Suite. This eight-movement, 55 min. work is based on Gwinnell’s impressions as a Corridor resident in his early 20s.