Name: Chieli Minucci
Instrument: guitar
Years Playing: since age of 8
Location: New York
School/Major/Degree: Ithaca College, never finished, English major, music major for one year

We also interviewed Chieli in 2013. You can read the updated interview here.


Chieli Minucci, an established guitarist in New York, has been renowned for both his skills as a performer and as a composer. With impressive credits and an extensive discography, Minucci has been successful in many genres of the music industry including performance, recording, composing for artists, himself, musicals, et al. and much more.

Minucci offers a variety of advice for aspiring musicians including the age-old expression “practice makes perfect”. He illustrates that it isn’t just about constantly playing your instrument, it needs to be a “combination of serious ‘woodshedding’ and practicing the rudiments of your instrument”.

Influenced by musicians from different spectrums of the music world including John McLaughlin, Eric Clapton, and Pat Metheney, it is apparent that Minucci has emphasized diversity in his music. In his own words, “I’ve tried to be in as many different musical situations as possible. There is a lot of variety in music, and the person who can perform in the most settings gets the most work. Besides, it is more interesting to be more diverse in music.”

Minucci contributes some of his success to the relationships that he has made throughout his career. “I’ve always been really outgoing and friendly and I like what I do and I like the kind of people I meet in the [music] industry. Music is just a secondary part of who you are, and you share that with other musicians. The relationships that you have with other people in the music industry are essential to a successful career; I get work because of how I play guitar, but most of the work I get are because of the relationships I have developed with other people. I have very close relationships with the people that I work with.”

Chieli’s father, who is a great melody writer (and has written some Nat King Cole and Bing Crosby and some classic crooner standards), has played a major role in Chieli’s decision to be a musician. Because grew up in house with melodies being played all the time, it was no big surprise that Chieli chose music as a career. His father has also been a big influence in his writing, which Chieli recently won a Emmy for…

With a career as successful as Chieli Minucci’s, going out on the road is inevitable. Luckily, Chieli loves being out on the road. “The road is the whole reason I do this. I love traveling with my band.”

Chieli has performed and recorded with top pop artists Celine Dion, Lionel Richie, Jennifer Lopez, Jewel, Mark Anthony, Jessica Simpson, Anastasia, as well as the jazz artists Marion Meadows, Jay Beckenstein, Gerald Veasley, Lao Tizer, Nestor Torres, Bob Baldwin, and many others.

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Published by Shannon Kennedy

Shannon Kennedy is a vocalist and saxophonist living in Southern California. She is author of "The Album Checklist" and the founder of Teen Jazz. She has been contributing articles to music magaizines and websites since 2004.

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