Peter Zummo

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Peter Zummo (born 1948) is an American composer and musician.[1][2] He plays the trombone, valve trombone, euphonium, synthesizer, other electronic instruments, and also sings. He is associated with the postminimalist and Downtown aesthetics, and he describes his music as "minimalism plus a whole lot more."[3]

He holds a M.A. degree in music (1975), and a B.A. degree (with honors) in music (1970) all from Wesleyan University.[4] He has studied with Carmine Caruso, Roswell Rudd, Stuart Dempster, James Fulkerson, Dick Griffin, Makanda Ken McIntyre, and Sam Rivers.

In his playing, Zummo frequently uses the circular breathing technique, which allows him to extend drones for a long period of time. He is a core member of New York City's DownTown Ensemble and has performed and/or recorded with John Lurie's Lounge Lizards, Daniel Goode, Arthur Russell, and Guy Klucevsek.


As leader[edit]

  • Zummo With an X (Loris Records)
  • Experimenting with Household Chemicals (XI)

With DownTown Ensemble[edit]

  • DownTown Only (Lovely Music)

With Tom Hamilton[edit]

  • Slybersonic Tromosome (Penumbra)

With Yvette Perez[edit]

  • '"Birdbrain - I Fly"' (Persian Cardinal)
  • H.E.R. - Songs About the Mysteries of Housework and Nature (Persian Cardinal)

With Arthur Russell[edit]

  • 24-24 Music (1982). Sleeping Bag Records. With Will Socolov.
  • Tower of Meaning (1983). Chatham Square.
  • Instrumentals (1984). Crepsecule. Recorded with The Flying Lizards and Glenn Lamaro, Bill Ruyle, and Jon Sholle.
  • Another Thought (1994). Point Music 438 891-2. Compiled with help from Mikel Rouse.
  • Calling Out of Context (2004). Audika Records. Compiled by Steve Knutson.
  • The World of Arthur Russell (2004). Soul Jazz Records.
  • First Thought Best Thought (2006). Audika Records. [Includes Instrumentals Volume 1 & 2, Reach One, Tower of Meaning, and Sketch for the Face of Helen].
  • Springfield EP (2006). Audika Records.
  • Another Thought (Re-released 2006). Orange Mountain Music.


  1. ^ "Composer Profiles: Peter Zummo". Kalvos & Damian: Chronicle of the NonPop Revolution. 
  2. ^ All Music Guide: The Definitive Guide to Popular Music (4 ed.). San Francisco, California: Backbeat Books. 2001. 
  3. ^ Tyranny, "Blue" Gene (10 September 2006). "Resonance, Decisions, Freedom: The Music of Peter Zummo (Liner note essay)". Peter Zummo: Zummo With An X. New World Records. 
  4. ^ "Peter Zummo biography". ModernWorks.