Peter Mosely is used to the rowdy crowds and smoky bars of the pop punk scene. As bassist in the alt-rock band Yellowcard from 2002 – 2008, and more recently as lead vocalist, guitarist, and piano player for the indie rock group Inspection 12 (their latest album, “Redefine” dropped last December), he’s performed for fans all over the country. But when he takes the stage at Jacksonville University on March 29, the audience can expect to hear something…different.
“I’ve been told my original music has a jazzy, show tunes flavor to it,” he explains. He’s titled his show “The New American Songbook” as a throwback to the Great American Songbook: a cannon of classic jazz standards from the 1920s through the 1950s. Mosely’s program of original compositions will include chamber music pieces, several songs with a piano and string quartet, a trio with acoustic guitar, and one large orchestra piece.
If it sounds odd for a rock artist to embrace classic jazz, Mosely doesn’t see it that way. When asked about his label as a punk rocker, he references an Inspection 12 song called “Labels Are For Cans” and says “I never try to go after a specific genre of music. It’s more about putting different elements together and writing whatever I want to write.” His inspiration comes from musicians as different as Beethoven, Rufus Wainright, George Gershwin, and the Beatles (“because everyone is inspired by the Beatles, right?”).
This appetite for great songwriting is what led Mosely back to Jacksonville. Currently a student at Jacksonville University, he’ll be graduating this spring with a triple degree in Music Business, Commercial Music, and Music Composition. This performance is a sort of “senior thesis” for him, but he raved about Jacksonville’s role as an incubator of new talent. “I love this place. It’s definitely going through a revitalization process. Jacksonville is a great avenue for artists to get out and be shown and be supported by those who care about independent art.”
So after his success as a rocker and finishing his education, what’s next? A few years ago, Mosely joined folk/Americana band Canary in the Coalmine as bassist. They’re set to release their first full-length record at the end of March, and will be touring the Southeast shortly after. “I’m excited to see what happens with this project – it’s a great band and a great album with a lot of promise.” Whatever the next phase of Peter Mosely’s career looks like, it’s clear that he’s just getting started.
Peter Mosely will be performing his original music at Jacksonville University’s Terry Concert Hall on March 29 at 7:30pm. The performance is free and open to the public.