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Peter Hand

Guitarist, composer and arranger Peter Hand leads his own big band, ten-piece band and smaller groups, and his music encompasses a wide variety of original compositions, new interpretations of jazz classics and Latin & Brazilian jazz.

He has recorded three highly acclaimed big band albums on Savant Records and worked with many top artists and bands as a leader, arranger/composer and sideman, including Carmen Lundy, Jon Lucien, George Coleman, Lee Konitz, Houston Person, Claudio Roditi, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Chicago Jazz Orchestra, Kansas Jazz Orchestra and the Charleston Jazz Orchestra.

A New York City native, Peter took classical piano lessons before switching to guitar in his early teens. Growing up in New York in the mid-1960s, he was fortunate to hear music in many genres, from venues in Greenwich Village to Broadway to Carnegie Hall. After first becoming aware of blues artists Buddy Guy, Little Walter, Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters, he become especially enamored of the blues guitar sounds of B.B. King and Albert King, teaching himself to play much of their music and striving to develop his own ideas.

While a pre-med student at Binghamton University, NY, Peter led his own blues band, and in his third year decided to leave school and pursue music (with no regrets about leaving pre-med). He worked with his own groups and others in New York, including with Jerome Arnold (bassist with Howlin' Wolf and Paul Butterfield). His interests expanded to the great soul music artists of the day, one of many being James Brown, then at the peak of his musical career. In addition to Brown’s rhythm section innovations, Peter was inspired by Brown’s soulful ballads, creative horn arrangements, and the recordings Brown and other artists made with big bands and string orchestras.    

Wanting to learn much more about music, he took courses in classical counterpoint and harmony at City College of New York, plus orchestration and music notation at Manhattan School of Music. As he became more involved in jazz, Peter decided to study at Berklee College of Music in Boston.  

At Berklee, he soon became immersed in the music of Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, John Coltrane, Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Oliver Nelson, Miles Davis, Gil Evans, Charles Mingus, Wes Montgomery and Antonio Carlos Jobim, among many others. A guitar major at first, his interest in arranging blossomed and he studied big band arranging and composing with Herb Pomeroy, Larry Monroe and Ted Pease, plus classical composition with John Bavicchi, Jeronimas Kacinskas and others, earning a Bachelor of Music degree in composition in 1977.   

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23
Album Review

Peter Hand: Blue Topaz

Read "Blue Topaz" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Peter Hand has a hand in almost everything on Blue Topaz, playing masterful guitar, writing seven of the album's ten engaging numbers and arranging all of them. He also spliced together a pair of blue-chip ensembles for his first small-group recording after three well-received big-band albums, and invited his longtime friend--and legendary tenor saxophonist--Houston Person to sit in on two tracks. Person had also guested on one of the guitarist's big-band recordings, Out of Hand (2014). Hand's ...

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6

Recording

Peter Hand Big Band New Release, "Out Of Hand" On Savant Records, September 23

Peter Hand Big Band New Release, "Out Of Hand" On Savant Records, September 23

Source: Peter Hand

Album Features Stellar Jazz Artists Including Don Braden, Ralph Lalama, Valery Ponomarev, Eddie Allen, Vincent Gardner, James Weidman, Harvie S, and Special Guest Houston Person NEW YORK, NY—Out Of Hand, an ambitious new big band recording from guitarist, composer and arranger Peter Hand on Savant Records, his second for the label, will be released on September 23, 2014. Leading an outstanding group of jazz soloists in a program of original compositions and creative arrangements of standards, the album marks a ...

164

Recording

Peter Hand Big Band Debuts on Savant Records with Tribute to Harold Arlen

Peter Hand Big Band Debuts on Savant Records with Tribute to Harold Arlen

Source: All About Jazz

Composer, arranger and guitarist Peter Hand leads the Peter Hand Big Band featuring saxophonist Houston Person on the new release The Wizard of Jazz-A Tribute to Harold Arlen on Savant/HighNote Records. Recorded live in 2005 during Arlen's centenary celebration, this special concert has been newly remixed and mastered to capture all the swinging sounds from a historic and memorable music event.

Peter Hand has been on the New York jazz scene for many years and is one of those rare ...

125

Recording

Peter Hand Signed to Savant Records for Big Band Album with Houston Person

Peter Hand Signed to Savant Records for Big Band Album with Houston Person

Source: All About Jazz

New York, NY - Composer, arranger and guitarist Peter Hand has been signed to Savant (HighNote) Records. A live concert recording entitled The Wizard of Jazz - A Tribute to Harold Arlen featuring tenor saxophone giant Houston Person will be released on June 16. Peter Hand has been a prolific and active presence on the New York Jazz scene for many years and has worked with and/or written music for Carmen Lundy, the George Coleman Octet and the Lee Konitz ...

98

Performance / Tour

Peter Hand Quartet Returns to Silvermine in Horace Silver Tribute

Peter Hand Quartet Returns to Silvermine in Horace Silver Tribute

Source: All About Jazz

Norwalk, CT May 11, 2007 - Guitarist/Composer performs new music plus Horace Silver classics at the historic Silvermine Tavern, Saturday, June 9th. Peter Hand's musical career has encompassed nearly every aspect of jazz. A New York-based composer, performer, arranger and leader, Hand's original compositions and arrangements have been performed by such artists as George Coleman, Houston Person, Lee Konitz, Don Braden, Valery Ponomarev, Jim Rotondi, Mike Abene, Richard Wyands and Carmen Lundy. After founding the Peter Hand Big Band and ...

78

Event

Creole presents LaRe & Peter Hand this Tuesday 8pm

Creole presents LaRe & Peter Hand this Tuesday 8pm

Source: All About Jazz

Creole Restaurant presents...

6x award-winning Jazz singer songwriter

LaRe featuring Big Band Composer/Arranger guitarist Peter Hand. Bass- Dan Fab.

Creole Restaurant 2167 Third avenue at 118th st This Tuesday October 3rd and Every Tuesday!

930pm-12am J A Z Z F E V E R Jam! Unbelievable array of World Class Jazz accompaniment at its finest the past few weeks and future bookings including: James Weidman-David Budway-Art Hirahara George Mesterhaze-John Dimartino.

Come and ...

“His music is beautiful” - Jon Lucien

“I’ve found my Gil Evans” - Houston Person

“The Peter Hand Big Band has my vote for the 2009 Grammy Awards best big band recording.” Frank-John Hadley – DOWNBEAT

“One of my personal best jazz CDs of 2009.” Dan Morgenstern – Jazz Historian

“Peter Hand’s writing draws on the creative tradition of fine big bands. Listen to his bossa nova arrangement of ‘Let’s Fall In Love’ for a good example of his fresh approach to familiar songs (and originals). His soulful guitar solo on ‘Stormy Weather’ is a plus - another facet of his art.” Dr. Lewis Porter – jazz pianist, educator and author ("John Coltrane-His Life and Music") (****) “...a dream big band” “...upper echelon artists playing great arrangements” AUDIOPHILE AUDITION – Jeff Krow

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Photos

Music

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Blue Topaz

Whaling City Sound
2024

buy

Out Of Hand

Savant Records
2014

buy

The Wizard Of Jazz

Savant Records
2009

buy

Hand-Me-Down Blues

From: Blue Topaz
By Peter Hand

Videos

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