Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Delaney, Marguerite (Peg)
Delaney, Marguerite (Peg), (maiden name, August),pianist, composer, educator; b. Schenectady, NY, 9 August 1949. Youngest of 4 children born to Nicholas P. August (b.1908 d.2001) and Anna C. MacFadden August (b.1912). Her father, a tenor, loved to sing and her mother coming from a musical family encouraged the music lessons. Anna's father, John MacFadden and her brother, Edward were professional musicians. Music was always in the home since sister Marie (b.1935), brother Edward (b.1939) played piano, and brother Nicholas Jr. (b.1944) played trumpet. They all practiced on the piano her father had since his childhood.
She started piano lessons at age 7 with James Early, continued with Irene Cooley till age 13. At age 16, studied jazz piano with Tony Zano. She received a B.A. in Music from the State University of NY at Plattsburgh in 1971, with a concentration in theory and composition. It was at college that she met her husband-to-be, J.William (Bill) Delaney (b.1942) and also started to play flute. Her love of jazz began when Bill introduced her to the recordings of Bill Evans, Miles Davis and Gary Burton. After college, she taught piano at The Arts Center in Albany and classroom music at various elementary schools in Albany and Schenectady. She studied improvising on flute with jazz saxophonist Nick Brignola in 1972 and continued with classical piano with Stanley Hummel. Both she and Bill played in jazz groups, Peg on flute and Bill on bass, till she decided to start jazz piano lessons with Lee Shaw. Bill and she married in 1974 and had two children, David (b.1976) and Amy (b.1979).
She gained experience on piano by leading her own combos, accompanying many jazz vocalists, started the group Jazz Voices, a vocal group singing harmony parts with her own arrangements and some borrowed from Lambert, Hendricks and Ross and the Hi-Lo's. Her desire to learn more about improvisation led her to transcribe several solos by saxophonist Nick Brignola. This project became a book which is sold internationally through Jamey Aebersold and Dorn Publication, as well as local music stores and portions have appeared in the Saxophone Journal. It is on the New York State Music Teachers Association adjudication list and is recognized by the National Jazz Educators Association.
She was the accompanist for a vocal workshop led by Sheila Jordan and Jay Clayton and worked with horn players Nick Brignola, Jim Hines, Leo Russo and many more from the tri-cities area. Joining the Marlowe Big Band of the Northeast in 1994, she was able the write charts of her own compositions for a 20 piece band. She has been a two-time recipient of the New York State Council for the Arts Meet the Composer Award and was a semifinalist in the Musician Magazine Best Unsigned Band Competition for her recording The Island Suite (1993). She recorded as a sideman on Joe Finn's Straight Ahead (1992) and Josh Greenberg's Mother Goose Jazz Band Go with the Flow (1994), a band that performed at the IAJE convention in NYC. In 2002, she recorded the CD If I had You with her own trio, Bill Delaney, bass and Earl Davis, vocals and drums. She was awarded the Swingtime Lifetime Achievement Award as pianist and educator.
Peg continues to teach and perform extensively and will soon be recording another CD of her own compositions with a quartet, featuring the guitarist Cary DeNigris.