Home » Jazz Musicians » Pete Whittaker

Pete Whittaker

Pete Whittaker was born and grew up in Wolverhampton, in the West Midlands region of England,UK. From an early age he was fascinated by all things musical, and as a youngster attempted to teach himself guitar and clarinet, while having lessons on piano and violin.

Through his school years, Pete did the usual thing of singing in choirs, playing violin (and viola) in the school orchestra (and later in the Wolverhampton Youth Orchestra), but also joined and formed teenage rock bands in which he played guitar and occasionally an old Hohner Pianet electric piano (all amplified via an insanely cumbersome system, far too big to be wholly contained within the boot/trunk of his parents' Austin Allegro - what a car!!).

Moving on to the University of East Anglia, Pete gained a music degree, and got interested in electroacoustic music. He furthered his studies, gaining a masters degree in electroacoustic composition.

Having harboured since his mid-teens a subconscious love of jazz (but having made little effort to try to listen to much...) Pete became very much into the genre while at college. Having met like-minded souls (notably saxophonist Julian Siegel, and pianist Kate Williams - now Pete's wife) the study and practice of jazz took over from the vague pop and rock rumblings of his adolescence.

Jazz piano in due course gave way to the discovery of that force-of-nature known to the world as the organist Jimmy Smith, the single most important jazz Hammond innovator ever. The sound of those old Blue Note and Verve albums from the 1950s and 60s grabbed Pete by his charity-shop lapels and made him determined to recreate the sounds for himself. Obviously this would involve a return to the acquisition and frequent transportation of even MORE cumbersome musical equipment than was previously required. Thus was the beginning of Pete's professional life as a jazz organist... twenty years later and he's still as excited by the music as he was then (but now he has a proper van, and can play the organ better).

Pete was fortunate to gain wider experience and exposure in the 1990s by touring with a couple of high-profile rock bands. The first of these was an Indie-ish melodic rock band (with a distinct folk-music influence) called The Wonder Stuff. Pete toured UK, Europe and North America with them (on and off)from 1991 to their initial disintegration in 1994.

Read more

Tags

Photos

Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Chameleon

33 Records
2020

buy

Elé

Beakin' Records
2011

buy

Give Me The Key To Your Heart

From: Chameleon
By Pete Whittaker

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and includes upcoming jazz events near you.