“Peñas offers a lithe, sparkling solo that displays his deep affection for the music” Jazziz magazine.
“Peñas’ focus on making good heartfelt music is a breath of fresh air.” JazzTimes
Oscar Peñas uses his unique skills to arrange, produce, and perform compositions in many US best venues fusing jazz and classical genres, using non-traditional instrumentation in either style, outlining his arrangements and unique sound.
Peñas was born in Barcelona. His family loved traditional, folk, and flamenco music. His maternal grandfather was a trumpet player who occasionally played with Xavier Cugat’s orchestra in town.
Peñas’ first studies were devoted to classical music; he later developed a fascination with jazz and dedicated his career to the American genre. His decision led to this moment in his musical career, a road that crosses cultures and creative ideas, the primary genre melded by different grooves. Peñas has expanded his focus to incorporate diverse rhythms and styles, creating extraordinary musical experiences that enrich lives and empower individuals through collaboration, innovation, and a passion for artistic excellence. His intuition and ear drive him to an amalgam of melodies that aim for the unexpected and merge multiple music styles that do not cohere into a single signature style. “I consider myself a multifaceted musician; ideas and references float freely in my original compositions. I like the mixture of multiple cultures that may seem inappropriate as I move fluidly between different traditional genres. I take inspiration from life and pick up energy from my surroundings.”
Since the early 2000s, Oscar has performed, taught, and recorded worldwide. He is passionate about community outreach, teaching clinics, and masterclasses to impoverished children invited by Danilo Perez’s Foundation, Panama City, FeduJaz, in the Dominican Republic, and II International Seminar by ASMUS in Bucaramanga, Colombia.
As a performer, Peñas has released six albums as bandleader, composer, and performer; four albums in the USA under his own label Musikoz, and two in Barcelona, published by Fresh Sound New Talents. His collaborations with great American Jazz Master include; Grammy winners Esperanza Spalding, Gil Goldstein, Paquito D’Rivera, Ron Carter, and Mike Stern. Peñas regularly performs his originals in venues across the US, including SFJAZZ, Outpost Performance Space, ASU Kerr Cultural Center, Athenaeum, San Jose Jazz Festival, Kuumbwa, BAM Next Wave Festival, Aaron Davis Hall (City College New York), Cabaret Theater at the Jazz Appreciation Month Series by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, the Mansion at Strathmore Performing Art Center, Kennedy Center, Atlas Performing Arts Center, the Decatur House (the National Center for White House History), Jazz at Lincoln Center at Dizzy’s Jazz Coca-Cola Club, Chicago’s Old Town, Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia Museum of Art, BAMcafé, BargeMusic, Burlington Jazz Festival, VT. He has produced and performed two concerts in Cuba at Teatro Martí and International Jazz Plaza Festival. Oscar performs in jazz clubs; Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola (JALC), The Sidedoor, Blue Note, 55 Bar, and Bar Next Door. His European presentations include; the Canaria i Más International Jazz Festival, Jazz á Juan Festival, Parisian Duc Des Lombard jazz club, and the Concert Hall Jamboree in Barcelona.
Reflecting on his unique cultural prestige, Peñas has received the Jazz Road Grant, South Arts Organization in 2022, the Mid Atlantic for the Arts, the USAI grant in 2021, and the ASCAP Plus Award from 2012 through 2022. An alumnus of both the Berklee College of Music “cum laude” and the New England Conservatory “with honors.” Peñas is member of: ASCAP, Local 802, LARAS, and NARAS, and Fractured Atlas. Oscar currently teaches privately. He lives in New York with his wife, manager, and agent.