Peter Madsen was born in Racine, Wisconsin where he began his classical piano studies at the age of eight and double bass at the age of ten. At thirteen he became interested in jazz on both instruments and started to play professionally three years later. In 1978 he graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire with a degree in Music Education, after which he moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota to concentrate on developing his jazz piano skills through intensive practice and a bursting schedule of gigs, composing and teaching.
In 1980 Peter moved to New York City. He got one of his many breaks when Stan Getz hired him to tour Europe and the U.S. in 1987. Since then Madsen has played with an array of great jazz musicians, performing extensively in Europe and Japan and recording over 70 CD'S with traditionalists like Benny Golson and Stanley Turrentine, modernists such as Joe Lovano and Kenny Garrett as well as funk masters like Fred Wesley and Maceo Parker. Peter has written over 250 compositions of which more than 60 have been recorded.
A partial list of his working associates include: Stan Getz, Stanley Turrentine, Dewey Redman, Benny Golson, George Coleman, Oscar Brown Jr., Arthur Blythe, Don Cherry, James Spaulding, Kenny Garrett, Joe Lovano, Sonny Fortune, Dave Liebman, Eddie Henderson, Ravi Coltrane, Warne Marsh, Greg Osby, Carlos Ward, Thomas Chapin, Ralph Moore, Rick Margitza, Vincent Herring, Dick Oatts, Paul McCandless, Pee Wee Ellis, Steve Slagle, Lew Tabakin, Marty Ehrlich, Tony Malaby, Richie Cole, Maceo Parker, Ronnie Cuber, Steve Wilson, Chris Potter, Craig Handy, Seamus Blake, Tom Harrell, Bill Frisell, Mick Goodrick, David Tronzo, Joshua Breakstone, John Clark, Randy Brecker, Steven Bernstein, Marcus Belgrave, Paul Smoker, Ron Horton, Fred Wesley, Frank Lacy, Conrad Herwig, Dave Taylor, Robin Eubanks, Bobby Byrd, Joe Locke, Ray Drummond, Rufus Reid, Jay Anderson, Cecil McBee, Anthony Cox, Ira Coleman, Phil Bowler, Scott Colley, Mario Pavone, Ben Riley, Billy Hart, Frank Gant, Jeff Watts, Teri Lynn Carrington, Mel Lewis, Smitty Smith, Victor Lewis, Ronnie Burrage, Carl Allen, Victor Jones, Gerald Cleaver, Mike Clark, Yoron Israel, Bill Stewart, Eliot Zigmund, Michael Sarin, Jeff Williams, Bob Moses, Matt Wilson, Toninho Horta, The Mingus Big Band, the Village Vanguard Orchestra, Fred Ho`s Afro-Asian Music Ensemble and many others.
In 1993 Peter released his fist CD as a leader for Minor Music, an independent label from Germany. Entitled Snuggling Snake's it features ten of his compositions, played by Anthony Cox, Lewis Nash, Chris Potter, Toninho Horta and Rudi Berger.