Biography

John G. Maione, born in Pittsburgh, Pa. on June 12, 1953, has been a prominent guitarist and composer, musician and teacher, in the Pittsburgh area for over 40 years.  Since his first lessons at the age of six, John’s passion for guitar and for music shaped his life.

As a full-time music teacher at the prestigious Winchester-Thurston school, a private K-12 institution in the Shadyside section of Pittsburgh, John is Director of the Upper School Jazz Band, the US and Middle School Orchestras, the Commencement Orchestra, the Spring Musical “Pit” Orchestra, and the US Guitar Ensemble.  He teaches US Music Appreciation, Songwriting, both Jazz and Rock and Roll History, Theory, and Technology (MIDI), courses which he created and established.  John also acts as Coordinator of the WT Private Music Instruction Program, and has forged a nationally-recognized educational and performance partnership withthe prestigious, Grammy Award-winning  jazz institution, the Manchester Craftsmans Guild, Marty Ashby, Executive Director.

John’s recent recording, The Kind of Gray Project, was celebrated with a CD release performance and reception at the Manchester Craftsmans Guild.  Featuring 12 original contemporary jazz compositions in various styles, plus 2 Beatle covers, and performed by 5 of Pittsburgh’s elite musicians, it has proven to be a worthy follow-up to his critically-acclaimed 1st  jazz CD, Midlife Blessings.  Jazz guitar great (and former guitar student) Sheryl Bailey commented:  “you really are the 6th Beatle, John!”

John established Lousons Music Publishing, an ASCAP company, with the release of his acclaimed debut jazz CD, Midlife Blessings, featuring 13 original Maione compositions, and described as “a musical celebration of family and friends.”   The Pittsburgh Tribune jazz writer, Bob Karlovits, wrote, “John Maione could be a hidden secret of local jazz…his playing is no-fat, no-foolin’ quality stuff.”  In the February 2002 issue of Just Jazz Guitar magazine, Berklee Guitar Instructor and nationally-renowned writer Charles Chapman wrote: “…every tune is meticulously written, arranged, performed, and recorded by highly competent musicians who truly appear to love what they are doing…the compositions and arrangements are some of the best I have heard in a long time…you can just feel the joy and love that went into this project.”

John followed this release with Come To Me  As Children, a collection of original contemporary Christian songs “of joyful celebration and quiet faith,” incorporating elements of jazz, rock, folk, and traditional liturgical music styles.  The following year, A Christmas Peace, an eclectic collection of both original and traditional seasonal songs was released.

“Some Assembly Required” (from MLB), John’s homage to the be-bop era, Charlie Parker, and young “mechanically-challenged” dads everywhere, was named a Runner-Up in the Jazz Category of the 2002 John Lennon Songwriting Contest, one of 120 award winners of approximately 25,000 submissions that year.  The jazz-funk tune “Da Fish” was also recognized with an Honorable Mention.  “I Love Her Eyes,” also from MLB, was similarly recognized by the JLSC in 2003.  “Prayer For A Weary World,” from A Christmas Peace, was awarded an “Outstanding Achievement in Songwriting” prize (top 5) in the Instrumental Category of the 2003 Great American Song Contest, which also named “Special One” and “Angelic Rise,” from Come To Me As Children, as Honorable Mention awardees in both 2003 and 2004.  “Christmastime Is For the Children” has received regular seasonal radio airplay on WJAS through the years since its release.

In 2005, John was engaged and commissioned to compose a song celebrating Winchester Thurston’s historic past, vibrant present, and promising future.  The resultant composition, We Are Living History, has become the theme song and promotional slogan of the school’s Capital Campaign Drive and Groundbreaking Events.  Composed and arranged for 30 musicians and 40 vocalists, “We Are Living History” was subsequently recorded at Mr. Small’s Studios, Millvale, Pa., and released on CD.  It is to become a vibrant component of the school’s 125th Anniversary celebration in 2011-2012.

John has also recorded for other projects including Star Trek novelist Julia Ecklar’sDivine Intervention, which led to the inclusion of a character named Lieutenant JohnMaione in The Janus Gate: Past Prologue, the Apraxia Foundation’s children’s CD A Time To Sing, LA jazz vocalist Opie Bellas’ Live For Life, Christian singer-guitarist Mary Jo Stetson’s To Life, Virginia Caporizzo’s Of Angels Wings and Voices, distributed by Alanna Records, and the musical background soundtrack for one of the final episodes (#1757) of PBS and Family Communications MisterRogers Neighborhood.

John has been teaching jazz guitar at the University of Pittsburgh since 1980, and is an annual guest clinician at the prestigious, nationally-recognized, Duquesne University Summer Guitar and Bass Workshop.  He plays guitar and cantors at weekly Roman Catholic mass at St. Joseph’s Church, Bloomfield, and has directed Contemporary Mass Ensembles at St. Mary’s Church, Sewickley, St. Raphael’s Church, Morningside, and St. Joseph’s Church, Bloomfield, among others.  Past guitar teaching affiliations include Duquesne University (1977-1988), Chatham College, Carnegie Mellon University, Community College of Allegheny County, as well as various local music studios through the years.  John has directed and arranged for guitar ensembles in the Berklee College tradition at the University of Pittsburgh and Duquesne University (as well as currently at WT).  He has maintained a successful private guitar instruction practice since his sophomore year at Central Catholic High School.

Mel Bay Publications recently released Maione’s instructional book, Jazz Chords For Rock Guitarists, available now at all fine music stores everywhere, on-line, or directly from Mel Bay. 
“The book is just what the doctor ordered, easy to understand and thorough.”– Charles Chapman

John is an in-demand solo guitarist.  He also frequently works in a jazz guitar duo setting, a favorite venue of his, and is an active free-lance guitarist playing for area bands and clubs.  His “show” work includes playing musicals such as Hair, Grease, Godspell, Chicago, Fiddler On the Roof, Joseph…, Footloose, Hello Dolly, From Berlin To Broadway With Kurt Weill, and Leader of the Pack, as well as in numerous musical reviews over the years, most notably for Don Brockett Productions, and for international recording stars Al Martino, Connie Francis, Moreno Fruzzetti, Michael Amante, and The Vogues.  He has been the pit guitarist for the annual Gene Kelly Awards at the Benedum Center numerous times throughout the years.  He has taught for the national Camp Jam workshop in Pittsburgh, and, after turning down multiple offers to be its Director, has acted as Human Relations Consultant  for the past 3 summers.   John has also been Guitarist, Band Leader and Contractor, and Special Musical Numbers Arranger for the Hillel Organization’s Campus Superstar since 2007.

Mr. Maione has a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of Pittsburgh, and has earned 28 post-graduate credits in music from Duquesne University (QPA 3.92).  He studied guitar for years with one of the best jazz guitarists and educators in the country, Joe Negri, and is a certified Music Technology Instructor.  He is a member of the following professional organizations:  Technology Institute for Music Educators (TI:ME), the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), the Pa. Music Educators Association (PMEA), the Music Educators National Conference (MENC), and the Musicians Union, Pittsburgh Local 60-471.  John is proficient in all guitar styles, and also plays bass guitar, piano and keyboards, banjo, and mandolin.