Primary Instrument: Guitar
Kansas City guitar prodigy, Dan Peterson opened for national acts such as Steve Miller Band, Strawberry Alarm Clock, etc at age 13. Peterson toured the midwest in a blues band in the early 70's. He later opened for Tom Petty, Journey etc, before pursuing the modern cool jazz school of guitar. As a member of a university jazz band he toured Europe in 1976. During this two year stint, Peterson participated in college jazz band clinics and/or performances with Rufus Reid, Gary Burton, Bob Hope, Stan Kenton, Maynard Ferguson, etc, which furthered his interest in the pursuit of esoteric modern jazz guitar explorations.
Peterson's first solo LP' Voice of the Trees was released in 1979 to critical acclaim by national magazines, Guitar Player, Stereo Review, Audio Magazine, etc. He was an Illinois Arts Council grant winner for jazz guitar composition and recording projects in the early 80's.
Continued critical acclaim in major music publications for the following albums,New Life Suite, A Prayer for the Innocent, In Praise of The Father, The Blue Season, Illinois Jazz Project and 2005 release Forward View followed Peterson's recording career.
Rave reviews by Guitar Player Magazine, Vintage Guitar, Guitar Digest, and featured in articles by Roland User Group Magazine, Peavey Monitor Magazine, Illinois Entertainer, etc. have documented a prolific recording career spanning 35 years. Peterson, who walked away from an active role in music for nearly ten years, recently returned to the recording scene by displaying playing skills and compositions far advanced from his earlier work. His current project, Be a Blessing, will be released in April 2013.
“Be a Blessing” is critically acclaimed jazz guitarist, Dan Peterson’s heartfelt work of beautiful, poignant and impassioned compositions written during the difficult period in which his wife awaited a double lung transplant. Ann Peterson, who passed away in 2009 waited nearly three years for organs that never became available. Since that time, guitarist Peterson has become an outspoken voice to increase awareness of the need for organ donor registration. The title “Be a Blessing” has a dual meaning Peterson explains, “We were fortunate to have so many people in our life that were a blessing in so many ways. These great people, friends and strangers alike deﬁned a type of person and attitude I felt should be recognized and celebrated.” “I also wanted to take what I’ve learned from my experiences and express that in my music in an effort to encourage and uplift others who might be going through some difficult times of their own. At the very least, if I can make an hour of someone’s day a little better, raise their spirits or give them a peaceful moment while they listen to my music then that goal has been reached. If you’re going through some health issues or other pain, I hope this music soothes and inspires you. It was truly written for you. My experience, although difficult and not with the outcome we had hoped for, has increased my faith in God and reaffirmed my trust in Him. I wanted to share that faith in hopes that you are also strengthened by it. I also wanted to send a musical message of hope from someone who’s been there. In Faith, there is no hopeless end where there is endless hope”. The second meaning of the title “Be A Blessing” has a much more immediate and urgent message. Currently, more than, 115,00 people in the U.S. alone are on waiting lists for a life-altering or life-saving organ transplant. In 2011 6000 people died while waiting and 28535 people received organs and a new chance at life. Every day, approximately 132 people are added to the waiting list and 18 to 20 people die in the U.S. alone each day. Worldwide need is obviously greater. A single donor can save or enhance the lives of up to 50 people. Receiving an organ transplant extends the recipients life by 20 to 30 years on average. It costs the donor nothing but a few minutes to register, which can be done usually through your driver license facility or through this link. http://www.donatelife.net Also see : United Network for Organ Sharing through this link: http://www.unos.org
GUITAR PLAYER MAGAZINE NEW LIFE SUITE DAN PETERSON November 10, 1980 Whether he's firing off supple volleys of jazz runs or experimenting with the avant-garde, Peterson will draw you with his impeccable taste and intense feeling. A satisfying album.... Wonderful mood music. Jas Obrecht Guitar Player Magazine
VINTAGE GUITAR MAGAZINE ILLINOIS JAZZ PROJECT DAN PETERSON May 05, 2003 To say Dan Peterson is a skilled jazz guitarist would be an understatement. This is a very atmospheric record with Peterson playing all instruments. ....every cut creates a mood. (He's) a wonderful player. Single line bursts, beautiful chordal work, and octaves out of Wes' book mix work to create musical landscapes. His Somewhere Near Kansas City(which is the old chestnut Kansas City by Lieber-Stoller) is Jazz-Blues Heaven. Windy expands on Wes Montgomery's version of the Association's 60's pop hit and his version of The Classic's IV's Spooky is a tour-de- force with some nice soloing. You'd be hard pressed to find anyone doing their own album, playing all the instruments and sounding this good. The multi-tracking is smooth and never interferes with the songs. His playing is great throughout and the twenty songs hang together beautifully. It'd be nice to hear other artists do this occasionally and pour their hearts into it as Peterson has. John Heidt Vintage Guitar Magazine
GUITAR PLAYER MAGAZINE FORWARD VIEW DAN PETERSON March 05, 2005 GUITAR PLAYER MAGAZINE-March 2005 Issue What's In the Editor's CD Player Column Art Thompson, Senior Editor, Guitar Player Forward View-Dan Peterson
GUITAR PLAYER MAGAZINE VOICE OF THE TREES DAN PETERSON January 08, 1979 A Joyous spirit pervading throughout...A choice guitar album. Jas Obrecht Guitar Player Magazine VINTAGE GUITAR MAGAZINE FORWARD VIEW DAN PETERSON May 05, 2007 Dan Peterson focuses on recording wonderful jazz guitar that covers a lot of ground. —John Heidt VINTAGE GUITAR MAGAZINE May 2006 First Fret Article AUDIO MAGAZINE VOICE OF THE TREES DAN PETERSON May 14, 1979 A marvelous display of contemporary guitar playing at its most varied and intricately arranged...a guitar Virtuoso. Tom Bingham Audio Magazine
OP MAGAZINE NEW LIFE SUITE DAN PETERSON March 01, 1984 Complex, yet the themes are so fluid, melodically tasty, and are played with such skill, flair and spontaneity, they don't sound the least bit difficult or contrived. Peterson's musical personality insures their originality and quality. Tom Bingham OP Magazine
JAZZ IMPROV MAGAZINE ILLINOIS JAZZ PROJECT DAN PETERSON April 05, 2004 A Vibrant, Experienced guitarist whose sound evidences the influence of Wes Montgomery and George Benson Jazz Improv Magazine MONITOR MAGAZINE THE BLUE SEASON DAN PETERSON June 18, 2000 Despite great reviews that praised his style, dexterity and compositions, Dan Peterson actually walked away from music for almost a decade due to frustration with the direction commercial music had taken. Now he's back with a new energy and a new CD filled with red hot swing blues, jazz, and rock tunes. Anyone who loves good music and appreciates talented musicians should be grateful for his return. Peterson's new release features the same outstanding skill and taste that brought him critical acclaim for his earlier work....A promising and uncompromising artist whose music is filled with jazz and blues roots but is unquestionably original. Monitor Magazine
ROLAND US MAGAZINE THE BLUE SEASON DAN PETERSON April 05, 2004 His music demonstrates the artistry and tradition of a man who knows his instrument, but still maintains a fresh, youthful exuberance. It's clear that artistic pride and integrity are important to this jazz man. His determination and eagerness to explore are reflected in each record that Peterson produces. Roland US
GUITAR DIGEST ILLINOIS JAZZ PROJECT DAN PETERSON June 18, 2004 When Daniel Peterson's CD Illinois Jazz Project arrived at my office I was eager to pop it into my CD player and have a listen. I had heard a few cuts from the CD via the web and genuinely enjoyed what I heard. Now...let me clarify that I'm not a jazz cat in any way shape or form. As much as I've tried to become cognizant of jazz I simply have been unable to appreciate much of the wandering, meandering notes of say a pure jazz combo. To my unsophisticated ear it often sounds like three guys playing three unrelated songs. However with that being said, being a guitar player I have great respect and admiration for those players who have the musical savvy to integrate various types and styles into their music. I personally steal snippets of basic jazz licks and chord voicings and use them in my own original compositions with regularity. Those jazzy touches of class not only make my songs sound better but they make me feel like a better player than I probably am. Daniel Peterson doesn't have any problem convincing his listener that he's got the chops to jazz it up with the best of them. His playing has that savvy and sophistication that's easy to appreciate. It also doesn't hurt that the guy is genuinely musical. To even the uninitiated it's clear he's got a mastery of his instrument and his style of jazz is moving, classy, and in my opinion far removed from that pretentious style that I fail to comprehend. I understand Dan's music; I like how it makes me feel. He's an honest player who let's the notes flow from his fingertips. He knows how to milk a chord for all it's worth and while many a guitarist strives for machinegun-type speed in runs and scales, Dan let's his tone and emotion fill his notes and phrasing. Dan let's his electric guitar drip with sound and you can tell he's trying to squeeze every drop of resonance with each pluck, strum, pick or tap of the strings. For someone who want's to get a quality taste of jazz but doesn't want to have to contend with the confusing depths often associated with the genre, Illinois Jazz Project is a perfect choice. The tracks are mostly soothing tunes and they demonstrate the cool sophistication that jazz licks and chords add to a melody. Classic cover tunes such as Spooky and Windy don't escape Dan's creative and cool spin. To his credit he retains the original feel of both of these tune yet has found a subtle method to make them his own through his tasteful playing. Overall I dig this CD, Illinois Jazz Project is a relaxing, wondeful CD to listen to. I did feel that some of the digital percussion sounded a bit stiff and I also was of the opinion that some of the tunes ended abruptly... but that might just be a jazz thing!! Small criticisms indeed for a CD featuring 20 tracks and all the instrumentation is played by one guy. In addition it's all instrumental so no annoying vocals to interfere with the guitar. Yeah.....I enjoyed this CD and Dan Peterson should be grinning on the cover because fresh sounding quality music like his isn't that easy to find. Chris Armold Guitar Digest
ILLINOIS ENTERTAINER ILLINOIS JAZZ PROJECT DAN PETERSON July 21, 2004 Even if you don't consider yourself a jazz fan, Daniel Peterson's Illinois Jazz Project has something for anyone who appreciates good musicianship. Peterson plays all the instruments on the record, impressive enough once you hear the layers of tracks piled on each song, but it's the guitar playing that really sets him apart. Make sure you check out Go (Go Irish), where Peterson ditches the jazz and lets it rip with some hard rock licks. Trevor Fisher Illinois Entertainer Magazine ILLINOIS ENTERTAINER MAGAZINE FORWARD VIEW DAN PETERSON September 18, 2005 It would be rather sly if there were actually two Dan Petersons playing on Forward View, the axe-grinding is that sick. With a mish-mash of standards (My Favorite Things) and Xmas songs (Drummer Boy) fashioned for bop guitar, it would appear that Peterson's fingers know no fear. Personal taste will dictate whether you need 75 minutes of his fluid strokes — motion sickness begins establishing itself — but the guitarist is otherwise restrained in providing such a wonderful view. Steve Forstneger Illinois Entertainer Magazine
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