PETER HAND is a critically-acclaimed jazz guitarist, composer and arranger who performs in settings ranging from solo to big band. A New York City native, he took classical piano lessons as a child before switching to guitar in his early teens. Growing up in New York in the mid-1960s, Peter was fortunate to hear many great artists from different musical genres perform in venues from Greenwich Village to Broadway to Carnegie Hall. After first becoming aware of blues artists such as Little Walter, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters and others, he become especially interested in the blues guitar sounds of B.B. King, Albert King and Buddy Guy, and worked at developing his own style and sound.
While a pre-med student at Binghamton University, Peter led his own blues and R&B bands, and during his third year, decided he wanted to pursue music as a career (with no regrets about leaving pre-med!). He began to work with his own groups and others in the New York area, including with Jerome Arnold (bassist with Howlin' Wolf and Paul Butterfield). Peter also began to take interest in the great soul music artists of the day, and especially James Brown, who at the time was at the peak of his musical career and whom Peter heard perform live many times. In addition to the innovations Brown was bringing forth in his band’s rhythm section, Peter was inspired by Brown’s creative horn section arrangements and the recordings Brown made with big bands and string orchestras.
“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
recording.” Frank-John Hadley – DOWNBEAT columnist, author
“One of my personal best jazz CDs of 2009.” Dan Morgenstern – Jazz
Host-Jazz From The Archives WBGO-FM (Newark, NJ)
“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
familiar songs (and originals)