The show where we uncover the stories, processes, and worldviews behind NYC’s most artful and creative musicians.


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Today's Guest: Robert Buonaspina is a New-York-City-based composer, arranger, pianist, organist, violist, and educator. Robert recently received his Master’s degree (Summa Cum Laude) in Jazz Composition from the Manhattan School of Music, where he was a student of Jim McNeely and Phil Markowitz.

As a composer and arranger, Robert has had the honor of having his work performed around the world, whether in Hamburg, Germany or at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York. In January 2021, Robert was the recipient of the International Society of Jazz Arrangers and Composers (ISJAC) Chuck Owen Prize in Jazz Composition, where his work for jazz ensemble, "Smile Pretty," will be soon recorded and performed by the WDR Big Band in Cologne, Germany.

Whether as an arranger or a music copyist, Robert has collaborated heavy hitters across the scene — such as Joel Ross, Candice Hoyes, Grammy-winning producer Larry Klein, and Steven Feifke. Robert also maintains a schedule as an active pianist and violist in the greater New York City area, sharing the stage with several key figures in New York, such as Lalah Hathaway, Vince Mendoza, Ralph Lalama, Melissa Errico, Alice Ripley. Between piano and viola, he has performed at seminal venues in New York such as Lincoln Center, 54 Below, and Riverside Church.

Currently, Robert holds a full-time position as Director of Music and Organist of St. Pancras Roman Catholic Church in Glendale, Queens, and runs an arranging, production, and education studio out of his apartment on the Upper West Side. At St. Pancras Roman Catholic Church he manages a network of volunteer and professional cantors, two choirs, and several professionally produced events/concerts during the year.

Robert is based on the Upper West Side where he freelances in music arranging, production, and education to a studio of motivated students.

Find him at

Instagram: @rbuonaspina

Your hosts: Michael Shapira: @michaelxshapira

Austin Zhang: @austindiscovers

Learn more: Instagram: @bravesoundnyc

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