Born and raised in Ottawa, Peter has been a mainstay of the city’s jazz community since the mid-1990s.
Largely self-taught as a jazz pianist, Peter counts himself very fortunate to have performed during his formative years with the Canadian jazz legends Sonny Greenwich, Phil Nimmons, Pat Labarbera and Reg Schwager. As a leader in the last decade, Peter has recorded three albums of original modern mainstream jazz, A Boy’s Journey (2010), Alpha Moment (2015) and most recently, Ordinary Heroes, which will be launched at Merrickville’s Jazz Festival this year.
The album, which was supported by grants from the City of Ottawa and the Ontario Arts Council, is a collection of original compositions addressing the social and political tumult of our times. It features Peter in the company of a Canadian all-star band whose members are long-time friends of his, including the dynamic Ottawa-raised saxophonist Kenji Omae, now on faculty at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, NS, and the high-energy Guelph-based drummer Ted Warren, who has propelled the bands of Rob McConnell and Mike Murley, among many others. Both Kenji and Ted will make the trip to Merrickville to bring the urgent, uplifting and lyrical music of Ordinary Heroes to life, while veteran Ottawa guitar star Roddy Ellias and bassist Chris Pond, a recent top-notch addition to Ottawa’s jazz scene via St. John’s, Nfld., round out the band.
Outside of music, Peter has been a journalist at the Ottawa Citizen since 1990. He covered the education, crime, city hall and courthouse beats, and wrote stories from Hong Kong, New York, San Francisco and London, before becoming an arts reporter and most recently the newspaper’s restaurant critic. He lives in Ottawa with his wife and son.