Saxophonist, composer and arranger, Jean-Pierre is very much in demand on Quebec’s music scene. After finishing his Master degree in Jazz at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester N.Y., Zanella has played the Montreux Jazz Festival and the Saxophone International Congress in Nuremberg in 1982. That same year he recorded with the Eastman Jazz Ensemble and Saxology which won the « Downbeat Recording Award » for the best jazz group of the year.
Jean-Pierre Zanella has worked with names such as Red Mitchell, Bob Brookmeyer , Chuck Israels, Al Cohn, Kenny Wleeler, Gino Vannelli and Frank Sinatra jr. to name just a few.
In France he played at the Europa Festival du Mans, Mulhouse Jazz Festival and St-Malo. In Canada he did the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary and Vancouver. He also has performed in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo (Brazil).
He has recorded with several instrumentalists from Canada and the US such as Pat Labarbara, Brian Dickinson, Mike Murley, Don Alias and John Abercrombie.
He has seven solo albums, Caminho nominated for a Félix (1994), Mystic Infancy which received the Opus Award for the best jazz album 98. Puzzle City which also won the Opus Award for best jazz album 1999 was also nominated for a Juno. Mother tree ( 2002) was also nominated for a Juno and a Félix and won a Opus He also won the SOCAN award for best jazz composition during the FIJM 1998.
In 2006, he has released Villa-Lobos & Jobim. A new album is due for release at autumn 2010