Joseph Parillo, Emeritus


Pianist, Grammy nominated composer, and Steinway Artist, Joe Parillo has performed in Brazil, Italy, Germany, and New Zealand and has played nationally and internationally with the Glenn Miller Orchestra and vibraphonist Jay Hoggard. He was invited as featured artist for the Steinway Artists Celebration performing at Boston Symphony Hall in honor of the 150th Anniversary of Steinway and Sons. He holds a master’s degree in composition from the New England Conservatory and has written and arranged music for theater and film. His most recent works have aired on WSBE-TV and the SciFi Channel’s “First Wave.”

Parillo has been commissioned to write three jazz ballets and has arranged and recorded over twenty-five full-length children’s productions. He has also produced SongBook, Clouds, and the compact discs Almost Carefree and Block Island Summer for his ensemble as well as the gospel CD Meditations of the Heart. He has recorded two CDs with the Worcester-based Sonic Explorers. Parillo’s CDs Angels Gather, Morning In The Garden, andSandBox are available through his own Neoga Records label.

Parillo wrote and produced a master class CD, Using Altered Scales to Create Improvised Lines, for the July 1998 issue of JazzPlayer magazine and writes a jazz column for the quarterly Rhode Island Music Educators Review. Coordinator of the Rhode Island Music Educators high school jazz festival, Parillo has been Director of jazz studies at the University of Rhode Island for the past 17 years.

In the fall of 2003, he brought to fruition the jazz studies specialization under the B.A. degree, as well as the jazz studies minor, at the URI. He has also held the role of director of the annual URI Jazz and World Music Festival consistently since 1993. Parillo is a member of the BMI Lehman-Engel Musical Theater Workshops in New York. He is currently President of the Rhode Island Chapter of the International Association of Jazz Educators and one of the 2004 recipients of the Steinway excellence award.


  • M.M. in Jazz Studies and Composition, New England Conservatory
  • B.S. in Music Education, Rhode Island College