Peter Beets: a world class jazz pianist. He has shared the stage with jazz greats like Chick Corea, Wynton Marsalis, Dee Dee Bridgewater, George Coleman, Johnny Griffin, Chris Potter and John Clayton. He recorded with Jeff Hamilton and Curtis Fuller and in 2001 his recording "New York Trio" was released, which brought him international acclaim.
Peter Beets was born on the 12th of June, 1971 in the Hague. From birth he was surrounded by music: classical from his mother who is a music pedagogue, and jazz from his father who is a gynaecologist with a great love of Oscar Peterson and Art Blakey. This musical family, which includes two older brothers, Marius and Alexander, moved in 1972 to Groenlo, where Peter received his first piano lessons at the age of six. Although originally both parents did not associate the word "musician" with the word "career", music is definitely in the family's blood. Both Marius (1966) and Alexander (1968) become professionals on string bass and tenor saxophone, respectively. After college, Peter studied from 1989 at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. He combined his music studies with law school, but the jazz virus matured and he decided to concentrate exclusively on music.
From 1985 the brothers performed together as “The Beets Brothers”. In 1988 Peter won the prestigious Pall Mall Swing Award and a year later the Princess Christina Award. After this point, Peter's career began to rise rapidly. In 1990 the first recording of The Beets Brothers appeared, followed by two more, School is Closed Now (1993) and Brotherwise (1995). In 1996, Peter recorded a remarkable trio album called “First Date”, with drummer Jeff Hamilton, the driving force behind Monty Alexander and Oscar Peterson. Peter became a much wanted pianist both inside and outside the Netherlands, and accompanied, among others, Deborah Brown, Dee Daniels and Holland's "First Lady of Jazz", Rita Reys. In 1998 he finished his conservatory studies, and won the Parisian Prix Martial Solal. He also became the regular pianist of “The Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw”. With trombone and jazz legend Curtis Fuller, Peter made a live recording in 1999 and won in that same year yet another prize, the Concours de Solistes de Jazz in Monaco. More recordings follow: in 2000 “Powerhouse”, in 2001 “All Or Nothing At All”
In 2001 he recorded the CD “New York Trio”, with the rhythm tandem Rodney Whitaker and Willie Jones III, the first CD of Peter Beets recorded on the Criss Cross label. After the sequel, “New York Trio Page Two” recorded with the world-famous Larry Grenadier on bas he made a third CD for the label Criss Cross. This time with Reginald Veal on bass and drummer Herlin Riley, known from the group around Wynton Marsalis. In October 2007 his most recent CD appears on the renowned label. This time he chooses to perform without drums, but with the strength of piano, guitar and bass. The CD, called “New Groove”, is recorded in New York featuring Joe Cohn (guitar) and Reuben Rogers (bass). A few songs are recorded with a dutch cast, Martijn van Iterson (guitar) and Ruud Jacobs (bass).
Peter has had very successful tours with his trio in several countries in Europe such as Germany, Switzerland, Finland and Poland as well as in Japan and the US. He played at the famous Birdland Club in New York as a “special guest” for one week.
An extraordinary duet for two grand piano’s with Chick Corea in the big hall of the Amsterdam Concertgebouw resulted in a performance in trio setting there on the 16th of April 2005. His dutch theatertour “From Bach till Blues” (2003) was so succesful that he returned in the theaters in 2005 with the program “Chopin meets the Blues”. From fall 2007 on he wil appear in the theaters again. With his new program “The Blues goes Latin” he will show the influence of Latin American and Spanish music on the jazz. His concert performances and recordings are regularly praised, and his playing has been lauded by modern jazz greats like Roy Hargrove, Jeff Hamilton, Curtis Fuller, Teddy Edwards, Ed Thigpen and Wynton Marsalis: