Peter has beeSquillante-BW_MG_2903n playing trumpet since the 4th grade & credits his primary musical influences to be his Father (a German-Bavarian Zither player), his 1stTrumpet Teacher (Jules Sposato), & from simply becoming an avid music listener right from the start. During High School–& despite several years of braces, Peter achieved NYSMA Orchestral status & was also selected to the Westchester Youth Symphony under the direction of Victor Leonti.
Peter began playing out at age 18 with an ethnic dance band called The Austrian Boys, & recorded “Noch Ein Mal” (translated: “One More Time”) with them–only just a few short months after an intense rehabilitation for a broken jaw injury. The band typically performed about 80 gigs a year, touring throughout the whole North East. This helped Peter pay for more than half of his entire college tuition.
Peter left the group after 4 years to pursue further music education, including a Classical Trumpet study at the University of Salzburg / Die Mozarteum (Mozart’s Conservatory) under the direction of Prof. Fritz Krammer & with student-teacher Sim Sang Chang. There, almost completely immersed in Classical music, Peter discovered that he also had a significant interest in Jazz music, & upon his return to the States, began a Jazz Improvisation study at the Hoff-Barthelson Music School with Bohdan Sochan (a keyboards teacher). There, Peter formed the 3PM Jazz Quartet with several other of Sochan’s students (Peter Smith-piano, Morgan Smith-bass, & Peter Karp-drums; also with Russell Graham-keyboards, Fumi Tomita-bass & Doug Goldberg-piano) & began cultivating his jazz chops by “wood-shedding” standards, as well as originals (provided by all members of the group), & eventually playing out with this group. Peter continued to perform Classical music, mainly free-lancing in churches & with several area concert bands, most significantly under the direction of Dr. Jerry Sala-clarinet, & Joe “Doc” Albright-trumpet—who had briefly been Peter’s Orchestral Trumpet Studies Teacher also at Hoff-Barthelson. Peter then decided to pursue an even more intense Jazz Improvisation study with Bob Arthurs (trumpet) & Kenny Wessel-guitar (group workshop) at the Westchester Conservatory of Music—with a primary focus & concentration on chord construction & progression, ear training & better feeling jazz (swing) “time”.
Peter joined The Spitzbuam / The Trouble-Makers—an American & ethnic dance band–back in the early 90’s & continues to enjoy performing with this group regularly. He has become the main musical arranger in this group & so far he has recorded “Sechs, Bier und Rockin’ Um-pah” with them. Some highlights with this band (thus far) have been performing for a function at the United Nations, a performance on Ellis Island, performing at Supermodel Heidi Klum’s (1st) wedding, an appearance on ABC’s Good Morning America with Bill Evans, & a performance in NYC’s Central Park for an audience of over 10,000 people.
Peter also joined the re-birthed Pop-Rock group The Cuff Links (touring group) back in year 2000 & recorded, arranged & performed regularly with them, until their demise again in 2012. The Cuff Links had achieved relative fame & success for their 1969 hit ‘Tracy’ which reached #9 status on the Billboard Pop Charts of that same year.
In 2011, Peter also rejoined The Norm Hathaway Big Band & has done several notable performances with them at the Iridium Jazz Club in NYC (longtime home-base to legendary guitarist, Les Paul); in 2012 he also appeared with this band on an episode of NBC’s TV show ‘Saturday Night Live‘ in a pre-recorded digital short commemorating their 100th skit.
As an session musician in-demand, Peter has recorded on many other artists’ projects. Most notably, in 2013 Peter was contracted by Executive-Producer Aaron Accetta to add horns onto the internationally renowned Indi-Rock/Pop group, The American Authors, for the title track of their debut album “Oh, What a Life”.
Peter also occasionally performs with several other local acts, including Kick Start Charlie, Wall Street, Eclipse, Rock Culture, Guava Lava, The Joe Battaglia NY Big Band, etc, & Barbara Harris & the Toys (of the 1965 #2 Billboard Hot 100 Pop hit ‘Lover’s Concerto’ based on a J.S. Bach minuet), etc.
For about 10 years Peter served actively on the Faculty of the Westchester Conservatory of Music, as both a trumpet & trombone teacher, & he also taught a brass group workshop there. He also played Lead Trumpet in the WCM Faculty Big Band next to his teacher & mentor, Bob Arthurs, who played Solo Trumpet. Some highlights with this band were a performance with legendary jazz guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli–given at Alice Tully Hall-Lincoln Center, and being the opening act on a few occasions for such legendary & notable jazz performers as Max Roach (drummer), Roy Hargrove (trumpeter), Lionel Hampton (vibes), etc. Peter also briefly re-founded the WCM’s Brass Ensemble (originally known as the Soundview Brass Quintet) which reunited original members Bob Arthurs (Trumpet) & Dolores Beck (French Horn).
Peter continues to compose, arrange & perform many different styles of music for various musical applications / group settings—including a Surreal Trumpet Concerto (currently ‘shelved’ but) still in progress that he began during his stay in Austria.