Peter Dragotta is a composer, wind synthesist, brass instrumentalist, producer, and leader of the electro/creative music ensemble pharmacopia. For over 20 years he has connected his jazz origins with ambient, house, electronica and break beats, as well as elements from hip hop, rock, pop, and classical music melding them into soundscapes of deep intensity.
Before being an active musician/composer, Dragotta started his career behind the scenes on the business side of the music industry starting in 1984 promoting artists and bands like Tina Turner, Duran Duran, Iron Maiden, and The Pet Shop Boys for Capitol-EMI. While there he also worked at Blue Note Records in college radio promotions during the 1985 re-launch of the label. He then moved over to Top 40 radio in 1986 as the Assistant Promotions Director and On-Air Personality at New York City's Z-100. There he took advantage of his on-air personality "Party Patrol Pete" and played trumpet and percussion at station sponsored events with artists such as Gloria Estefan, The Beach Boys, DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince, and Harry Bellefonte.
Wanting to focus more on playing and performing his own improv based music, in 1991 Dragotta left the radio industry and formed the band The James Quintet with rockers Robert Sharkey of Industrial Teepee on guitar and Claude Coleman Jr. of Ween on drums. Joining them was Steven Decker on bass, and his brother Chris Dragotta on alto sax. The James Quintet had a steady running Thursday night gig at the 55 Bar in New York City from 1992 to 1993. Dragotta's music is heavily influenced by the creative jazz spirit of Ornette Coleman, The Art Ensemble of Chicago and the 1970's electric period of Miles Davis with the DJ culture of electronic and ambient music.
Starting in 1995, Dragotta recorded what would be the first of many albums under the ensemble name pharmacopia. The following year he began distributing his music digitally as being one of the first artists to sign up on the legendary (now defunct) net label MP3.com. Currently, pharmacopia's music is distributed and licensed through the net label Jamendo.com.
In 1999 he founded the digital advertising/marketing company called ThingeeDigital. His company produces videos, animations, websites and most importantly to him, music. Peter has composed and produced the background music for various ad and promotional campaigns. Some of his current clients include Novartis, Johnson and Johnson, Astra-Zeneca, Ferring Pharmaceuticals, Hoffman La Roche, Wyeth, Grolsch, Wachovia, Intel, US-Army, Range Rover, and Ashoka.
In 2008, Dragotta moved to New York City and returned to performing in the city's creative music scene. He has since performed with Daniel Carter, Demian Richardson, Dave Moss, Federico Ughi, Gunter Gruner, Giuseppe Logan, Leon Gruenbaum, John Blum, Jeff Shurdut, Andres Marino, Peter Scherr, Gene Moore, Thurston Moore, Gene Janas, Charles Gale, John Tchicai, William Parker, Roy Campbell, Ras Moshe, and Matt Lavelle to name a few.
In 2010, Dragotta joined as an artist and member of the board of directors for the nonprofit organization Art For Arts producers of New York City's Vision Festival .
In 2012, an opportunity to move to the city of Zhuhai in China came to him. Peter had already played a successful experimental music tour in China in 2011 with Hong Kong based bassist/guitarist Peter Scherr. For a big move like this, Dragotta is very motivated in taking on new challenges. Since moving to China, he has performed in Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Taipei, and his home city of Zhuhai with his own groups and as a sideman.
Living up to his reputation as a hard-working musician, composer, producer and businessman, Dragotta often works with diverse projects simultaneously.
Want to use these tracks in a commercial project/video?
That was cool! This is beyond a doubt an excellent, technically challenging mature-sounding album, so I’m surprised – only 614 listens and 43 downloads from the date of it’s release?
This album should win much more fans!
Many thanks for sharing.