Peter Zak, piano
Marcos Varela, bass
Sylvia Cuenca, drums
$20 cover charge, byob
Peter’s newly released recording, One Mind, is a close collaboration with bassist Marcos Varela, in a quartet that includes Billy Drummond on drums and acclaimed saxophonist Seamus Blake. The album features several new compositions and arrangements, and veers into some surprising musical paths.
Born in 1965, in Los Angeles, he grew up in Columbus and Kent, Ohio. When he was five, his mother taught him the basics of piano playing and reading music, and after six months, he began a decade-long series of private lessons, including a period with internationally renowned concert pianist Margaret Baxtresser. After the family moved to Oakland when he was 16, Peter developed an interest in jazz when his high school band director showed him how to play the chord changes to Stella by Starlight. Studies with Susan Muscarella, now president of the California Jazz Conservatory, followed at UC Berkeley, where he also played in the UC Jazz Ensembles and earned a B.A. in history. He was soon gigging around Northern California with saxophonist John Handy, among others.
Since relocating to New York, he has performed and/or recorded with Eddie Henderson, Junior Cook, George Coleman, Jimmy Cobb, Billy Hart, Ryan Kisor, Etta Jones, Scott Hamilton, Peter Bernstein, Al Foster, Eric Alexander, Curtis Stigers, Walt Weiskopf, and Jon Hendricks, among many others. Peter is also a faculty member in the renowned jazz program at New School University.
Since 2005, Peter has released a series of critically acclaimed recordings for the Danish jazz label, SteepleChase Records. His first release for the company, The Peter Zak Trio, featuring drummer Al Foster, and bassist Paul Gill, appeared that year. Down East, a trio date featuring Peter Washington and Billy Drummond, appeared in the spring of 2011. Among the enthusiastic national and international press for this release was a profile in the September, 2011, issue of DownBeat magazine. This release was followed by Nordic Noon, in 2012, The Eternal Triangle, in 2013, and The Disciple in 2014, which reached #2 on the Jazz Week radio chart. Prior to the current quartet recording, One Mind, his most recent, Standards, a trio session featuring Billy Drummond and bassist Jay Anderson, remains a culminating example of his efforts as a jazz pianist and bandleader and demonstrates the fluidity, knowledge and command he’s developed over more than twenty years of performing and recording with some of the world’s best jazz musicians.
Peter leads his own groups at various venues in and around New York, such as Smalls, Mezzrow, The Kitano, and Smoke, as well as leading national and international appearances, including recent performances at the Copenhagen Jazz Festival, the Zacatecas jazz festival in Mexico, and a tour of Canada as a co-leader with saxophonist Walt Weiskopf. At the same time, he has been performing regularly as a sideman with a host of other artists, including Eddie Henderson, Jim Snidero, Peter Bernstein, Ryan Kisor, Jimmy Cobb, Walt Weiskopf, Carlos Abadie, Doug Webb, and many others, both in the U.S and internationally. In 2011, Peter performed with the Brooklyn Philharmonic as the featured soloist on Gershwin’s I Got Rhythm Variations.
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Read more here - Andy Gilbert's Feb 25 article about the IMA from KQED's site