Peter Eldridge

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There’s just no category for what Peter does. It’s simply exquisite, timeless work.
— Jonatha Brooke

Peter Eldridge ranks “in the celebrated tradition of melodic poets, most famously represented by such disparate voices as Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison and Steely Dan – singer/songwriters who create catchy, beautiful tunes with insightful lyrics that are both personal and universal” (allmusicguide.com).

He continues to combine his talents into an eclectic mix of performing, composing and arranging, recording, as well as teaching (after almost twenty years at the Manhattan School of Music as the head of it’s graduate jazz voice department, Peter joined the voice faculty at Berklee College of Music in Boston this past Fall). Peter was also recently asked to be the artist-in-residence at Western Michigan University. To this date he has released four solo recordings. Stranger in Town, characterized by its bittersweet swing garnered Best Jazz CD of the year by Boston radio station WICN, and released in the same year was Fool No More, full of Peter’s evocative original music in a sophisticated pop setting, were both released in the same year (Rosebud Records). Following on the heels of those albums was Decorum, a 2005 release of originals. Downbeat was noted as saying, “If musical intelligence and artistry were prompters to marketplace success, Decorum would grant him stardom. . . .strong, far-ranging voice . . hauntingly wistful”. Finally the latin-inspired Mad Heaven was released in 2011 on the Palmetto label. “Mad Heaven showcases Eldridge as a major player in vocal jazz, an artist of extraordinary depth and conviction” (Jazz Review). Peter is currently working on two new recording projects, one with jazz pianist Kenny Werner and strings, and the other a project of originals and covers with his trio (Ben Wittman on drums/percussion and Matt Aronoff on bass). Both projects are being planned for release in 2015.

Peter is also a founding member of the vocal group New York Voices, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and has recorded eight albums (including ‘New York Voices Live with the WDR Big Band Cologne’ released earlier in 2013 and Let it Snow, the group’s first holiday album also released in 2013). Two projects they collaborated on received Grammy awards (one with the Count Basie Orchestra, the other with Paquito D’Rivera). The group continues to make numerous guest appearances, and tour internationally, with appearances including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, and the Kennedy Center. In addition, compositions by Mr. Eldridge have been included on albums by many other artists: 'Minds of Their Own', written with Brazilian composer-performer Ivan Lins, was included on Nancy Wilson's R.S.V.P. (Rare Songs, Very Personal) on the MCG Jazz Label, which won the 2004 Grammy award for Best Jazz Vocal Album; 'Difficult' was recorded by Cuban saxophonist-clarinetist Paquito D'Rivera for his The Jazz Chamber Trio, a 2005 release on Chesky Records; ‘Postcards and Messages’ was recorded on Denise Donatelli’s 2012 Grammy nominated album ‘Soul Shadows’, and ‘Difficult’ was also used in comedian Zach Galafianakis’ DVD ‘Live from the Purple Onion’. Jane Monheit, who was at one time one of Mr. Eldridge's many talented students, features Peter's song 'Surrender' as the title track on her acclaimed 2007 CD and also features the Eldridge duet 'Around Us', based on a James Thurber quote, on her 2003 Encoded Music DVD, Live from the Rainbow Room. Jane and Peter also recorded a duet for her 2012 album Home entitled “It’s Only Smoke”. One of his many choral pieces, simply entitled 'Prayer', was recorded by New York City's own Marble Collegiate Sanctuary Choir, on its recording With Many Voices, and his arrangement of the indie-pop band Elbow’s song ‘Mirrorball’ was just recorded by the choral group Chanticleer for its most recent album ‘Something New’.

In spring 2008, Peter was invited to join Kurt Elling, Jon Hendricks, and Mark Murphy for a ‘concept concert’, the Four Brothers. He is also a member of the vocal group Moss, which combines the talents of Luciana Souza, Kate McGarry, Theo Bleckmann, and Lauren Kinhan. The debut album by Moss was named one of the best CDs of the past decade by Downbeat. Peter continues to perform with his own band in venues domestically and internationally. He has also recently begun a new duo called Foolish Hearts with bassist Matt Aronoff, which just released its first studio project (an EP entitled New Definition) and has already had two tours of Europe and the States. Peter has also worked with Bobby McFerrin (lending his voice to McFerrin’s ‘Vocabularies’ project), Michael Brecker, Meredith Monk, Fred Hersch, Becca Stevens, George Benson, Kenny Werner, David Byrne, Jim Hall, Larry Goldings, the Roches, Jonatha Brooke, Bill Charlap, Betty Buckley, Joshua Redman, Janis Siegel, Denise Donatelli and many others. Peter recently wrote the musical score with composer/conductor Adam Waite for the PBS documentary film, ‘No Job for a Woman’, which tells the account of women reporters in WWII, as well as writing his first full-fledged musical ‘The Kiss’ with Chicago playwright Cheri Coons about the life, loves and art of Austrian painter Gustav Klimt. Peter’s music was recently featured in NYC’s Playwright’s Horizons production of the play called THIS by Melissa Gibson. He is regularly asked to lead master classes and workshops around the world, and as guest conductor has directed All State groups including New York, Colorado, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and Illinois.