biography, discography



Chieli Minucci

Guitarist, composer, producer, and arranger Chieli Minucci is longtime leader of the Grammy-nominated jazz-fusion group SPECIAL EFX featuring Chieli Minucci, a major force on the jazz and world music scene for over 35 years. Chieli has just recently released his 35th anniversary CD, “All Stars” (Trippin N Rhythm Records).  Chieli & Special EFX’s previous release saw title track, “Deep as the Night”, won Billboard Magazine’s 2018 top honors, best-song-of-the-year.

Besides writing and performing his own music, Chieli shares his guitar brilliance throughout the entertainment world. He has recorded and performed with many top artists, such as Celine Dion, Lou Reed, Lionel Richie, Jennifer Lopez, Jewel, Mark Anthony, Michael Bolton, Rupert Holmes, Eartha Kitt, Eddie Fisher, Anastasia, as well as jazz artists Kirk Whalum, Jeff Lorber, Norman Brown, Bernie Williams, Marion Meadows, Lao Tizer, Mindi Abair, Rick Braun, Gerald Veasley, Omar Hakim, and many others.  Although renowned in the jazz and pop world, Chieli is also a gifted television and film composer. He has won 3 Emmy Awards and been nominated 10 times for his eclectic compositional work. His music can also be heard on the soundtracks of the films Bowfinger, Legally Blonde, Panic, and others. Chieli’s original scoring work can be heard in live stage productions of Peter Pan, Dora the Explorer, Thomas the Tank Engine, and others.

Chieli Minucci & Special EFX released their 35th anniversary CD in spring of 2017, entitled, “Deep as the Night”.
The official Chieli Minucci websites

Additional biographical and discography information can be viewed at:

International Movie Database



Chieli Minucci /

Chieli Minucci is the leader of the Grammy-nominated contemporary jazz group, SPECIAL EFX featuring CHIELI MINUCCI, which formed in 1982. Minucci & Special EFX have recorded and released a combined 31 CDs, 8 of those being solo releases. 2018 marked their 35th anniversary as a recording & concert touring act! “Deep as the Night” from the band’s 2017 CD with that same title was recently named the number one smooth jazz song for 2018 by Billboard. The music of Special EFX has been described as “accessible yet slightly experimental music that combined…smooth jazz, rock, and various African and Latin rhythms.”

In addition Minucci has recorded and performed with top pop artists such as Celine Dion, Lionel Richie, Jennifer Lopez, Michael Bolton, Jewel, Mark Anthony, Anastasia, as well as jazz artists Kirk Whalum, Jeff Lorber, Norman Brown, Bernie Williams, Marion Meadows, The Lao Tizer Band, Mindi Abair, Rick Braun, Nick Colionne, Gerald Veasley, Omar Hakim, and many others.

Chieli comes from a musical background. His father, Ulpio Minucci (concert pianist/composer) wrote the American songbook standard, and 1955 hit song, “Domani” (sung by Julius LaRosa), as well as “A Thousand Thoughts of You,” and “Felicia” (both sung by Nat King Cole).

Also known as a composer for television and film, Minucci has won three Emmy Awards, in 1998, 2007, and 2008, and in addition has been nominated for 10 Emmy Awards for his eclectic compositional work on CBS’s “The Guiding Light”, which holds the record as the longest running TV show in American history.  He has written music for well-known programs such as Dancing With the Stars, American Idol, Good Morning America (theme), Bloomberg Radio (theme), Access Hollywood, The 700 Club, and others. He also contributed music to the soundtracks of  Bowfinger (1999 Universal), Legally Blonde (2001 MGM),  and Panic (2000 Artisan).

International Movie Database

Minucci composed and produced the soundtracks for the Broadway Across America/Nickelodeon live stage productions of the international hit TV series, Dora the Explorer (Dora’s Pirate Adventure, The City of Lost Toys, and Return to the City of Lost Toys), all of which toured.  He also wrote and recorded original songs for the live stage production of Thomas & Friends Live™, (both Thomas Saves The Day! and A Circus Comes to Town). Most recently he has contributed to the score of Peter Pan (Herrick Entertainment/Threesixty Entertainment), which premiered in June of 2015 and is now traveling through the USA.

In August 2012, Prof. Chieli Minucci joined Beijing’s DeTao Masters Academy as a DeTao Master of Modern Music.

Working Experience

  • The leader & co-founder of the famous American contemporary world fusion band “ Chieli Minucci & Special EFX”.


  • Attended Ithaca College in upstate NY, where he initially majored in music, studying classical guitar, and continued as an English Major. He also attended Queens College in NYC, where he continued to study literature.

Honors and Awards

  • Grammy nomination for “Modern Manners” – Chieli Minucci & Special EFX
  • Winner of three Emmy Awards (1998, 2007, 2008) CBS’s “The Guiding Light”
  • Nominated for 10 Daytime Emmy Awards for his compositional work on CBS’s “The Guiding Light”


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Arise // Special EFX featuring Chieli Minucci - All Stars
  1. Arise // Special EFX featuring Chieli Minucci - All Stars
  2. Mr. Marzipan (clip 2) // Special EFX featuring Chieli Minucci - All Stars
  3. Gathering Wind (from Without You) // Chieli Minucci
  4. Hanky Panky Boys (clip 1) // Special EFX featuring Chieli Minucci - All Stars
  5. Islands (from Mystique) // Chieli Minucci
  6. Two Dancing (clip 1) // Special EFX featuring Chieli MInucci - All Stars
  7. Sad Senorita (from World Journeys – Gotham Music GM174) // Chieli Minucci
  8. Masterpiece (from Masterpiece) // Chieli Minucci
  9. Lost Not Found (from World Journeys – Gotham Music GM174) // Chieli Minucci
  10. Gentle Hands (from Inspire Me – Gotham Music GM194) // Chieli Minucci
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