Saxophonist, flutist, and clarinetist Peter BarenBregge was born in Pittsburgh, PA. Growing up, the family lived in a few locations but ended up in Wilmington, Delaware. Pete became hooked into music with the classic story of a dynamic band director and mentor, Hal Schiff, who inspired a student in whom he heard special musical talent. In high school, Pete really got into music and achieved success on the tenor and alto saxophones, flute and clarinet and proceeded to win numerous awards at high school jazz festivals. Among the awards was a scholarship to the famed Stan Kenton Jazz Camp which became fertile ground for many jazz artists. Music was clearly the path of choice. He majored in music and graduated from West Chester University with a B.S. in music education and went on to teach public school instrumental music in Wilmington, all the while constantly playing and teaching jazz and making a name for himself in the Wilmington/Philadelphia area. Although he enjoyed teaching, the opportunity to join one of finest big bands in the world, the USAF Airmen of Note arrived in 1979. After a successful audition he enlisted in the USAF and moved to the Washington, D.C. area. With a brilliant career in the United States Air Force Band as featured soloist on lead tenor saxophone in the Airmen of Note, he rose rapidly through the system and was appointed musical director and NCOIC (Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge) of this elite group. As director, he quickly earned the rank of Chief Master Sergeant. Upon retirement from the USAF after 20 years, Pete accepted a full-time position with Warner Bros. Publications and the instrumental jazz editor then onto Alfred Music as editor for instrumental jazz products. He worked as a full-time jazz editor for 17 years and is now working part-time in the same capacity.
Pete BarenBregge is a freelance professional musician recognized nationally as a saxophone/flute artist, clinician, educator, and adjudicator. He continues to work part-time as the Instrumental Jazz Editor for Alfred Music. His editorial responsibilities include acquisition and project manager for jazz ensemble and combo arrangements, improvisation, transcription, etude and pedagogical materials along with the production of educational CDs. A voting member of the NARAS, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, (GRAMMYS), he was twice elected to the board of governors for the Washington, D.C. chapter. He has written articles for DownBeat Magazine and is a contributing author for variety of educational publications. In addition, Mr. BarenBregge was the musical director of the Columbia Jazz Band, Columbia, Maryland for 16 years. The band made five international performance tours. First at the Montreux Jazz Festival followed by a performing tour of Venice, Italy, Croatia, Slovenia, and Vienna, Austria. Next the CJB performed in Northern Europe through Amsterdam, Belgium, UK and Scotland. The next tour was to Istanbul, Turkey, Italy and Nice, France where the band performed at the Istanbul jazz festival, Umbria jazz festival and Jazz a Juan jazz festival. The next band tour was to Nice, France, followed by southern France into Spain to Barcelona and San Sabastian where the band was featured at the San Sabastian Jazz Festival. And during the final tour the band performed through France, Switzerland, and Germany. Pete performed as a free-lance musician working extensively in the D.C./Baltimore area performing on soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophone, flute, piccolo, alto flute, clarinet and bass clarinet. He now resides in Venice, Florida, where he continues to perform.
Mr. BarenBregge received his B.S. degree in Music Education from West Chester University in West Chester, PA. Following graduation, he enjoyed teaching instrumental music in the Brandywine School District in Wilmington, DE. He directed award winning high school bands and jazz groups with top honors. He is a frequent clinician and adjudicator at educational jazz festivals and all state jazz events. He continues to teach privately offering advanced instruction in jazz improvisation.
As a Clinician
Mr. BarenBregge has been a clinician at a variety of educational conferences and conventions such as Jazz Education Network (JEN), IAJE, the Midwest Band Clinic, NYSSMA, KMEA, PMEA, TMEA, TBA, MMEA, OMEA to name a few. In addition, he has performed as guest conductor for All-State and All-County Jazz Bands in Maine, Maryland, Delaware, Florida, and Pennsylvania. In addition, as a clinician/guest artist at Sam Houston State University, East Tennessee State University, the Northwestern Jazz Festival in Rock Hill, South Carolina, as guest soloist with the FIU Jazz Ensemble in Miami, Indiana University PA, Gettysburg College, the Maryland Jazz Weekend, the Williamsville, NY, Jazz Festival along with other numerous adjudicating and clinic events. He has been a featured soloist with the American Youth Jazz Band, traveling through nine counties in Europe on two summer tours. Pete has traveled to five cities in Australia in 2007, 2009, and 2013 providing music clinics and workshops at music conferences, performing as featured soloist and working with a variety of jazz groups. Mr. BarenBregge has travelled/performed in 28 countries and 50 states.
Pete BarenBregge is the former Musical Director and NCOIC (Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge) of the United States Air Force Band's Airmen of Note, Washington, D.C. In addition to his leadership of this premier jazz ensemble, he performed as lead jazz tenor saxophonist during his 20-year military career, retiring at the rank of Chief Master Sergeant. He led the band while traveling throughout the U.S. and in Canada, Japan, Sweden, Norway, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, and Panama. He is a featured soloist on 19 Airmen of Note CDs/albums and many more beyond the USAF. In addition, he has performed as a soloist in Germany, Luxembourg, France, England, Scotland, the Netherlands, Austria, Australia, Croatia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway and Japan. He has performed for Kings, Queens, Presidents and millions of people worldwide. He has performed for six presidents: Clinton, Reagan, Ford, Carter, Bush, and Nixon. During the Clinton administration, he frequently performed at the White House and shared the stage numerous times playing the saxophone alongside President Clinton. He has performed and conducted in the finest concert halls such as Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, the Meyerhoff, Myerson Theater in Dallas, San Francisco’s Davis Hall, and numerous world-class opera halls in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Panama, Uruguay. Pete has done extensive recording for radio, television, and record singles. He has collaborated with top names including Randy Brecker, Bob Berg, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Mel Torme, Diana Ross, Johnny Mathis, Henry Mancini, Dizzy Gillespie, Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra, and many others in addition to pit work at the National Theater, the Kennedy Center, the Straz Theater and many other venues.
Leading his jazz quartet
Mr. BarenBregge leads his own jazz quartet and released his first recording, PF FLYER in 2001 by the Pete BarenBregge-Frank Russo Quartet, available on Summit Records (DCD312). PF FLYER received a 3-star rating in the August 2002 issue of DownBeat magazine. Quoting the review: “Pete BarenBregge possesses technical and improvising gifts on all saxophones. His solos hold plenty of ideas and logic, building with a clear and concise vision as he tells his stories,” DownBeat Magazine, August 2002. “BarenBregge swings through the up tunes with assurance and approaches the ballads with refined expressiveness,” JazzTimes Magazine, June 2002. On his second CD, POINT OF GRACE, released in 2003 by the Pete BarenBregge-Frank Russo Group, he and Frank again received a 3-stars in the January 2004 issue of DownBeat: “BarenBregge solos with skill and expression.” DownBeat. January 2004. POINT OF GRACE is available on Summit Records (DCD358). His most recent CD is A THOUSAND EYES with the Pete BarenBregge-Frank Russo Group, is also on Summit Records.
As an Author/Producer
Pete BarenBregge has written numerous articles for DownBeat magazine, has contributing author to Jazz Pedagogy: The Jazz Educator's Handbook and Resource Guide published by Alfred Music., and for the TBA Journal. As a producer: Pete BarenBregge has produced three of his own quartet CDs, PF Flyer, Point of Grace, and A Thousand Eyes, all released on Summit Records. He produced seven Airmen of Note CDs. He has produced over 75 demo recordings for Alfred Music of educational jazz ensemble arrangements at all levels.