Biography

There are at least four musicians called Peter King:

1. An English jazz alto saxophonist
2. A Nigerian Afro-beat tenor saxophonist.
3. An American singer-songwriter and guitarist.
4. An English church-organist.


1. Peter King (b. 1940) is an English jazz saxophonist, composer, and clarinettist.

King was born in Kingston upon Thames, Surrey on 11th August 1940, and taught himself to play the clarinet at the age of fifteen, quickly switching to alto saxophone. In 1959, at the age of nineteen, he was booked by Ronnie Scott to perform at the opening of Scott’s club in Gerrard Street, London. In the same year he received the “Melody Maker New Star” award. He worked with John Dankworth’s orchestra from 1960 to 1961, and went on to work with the big bands of Maynard Ferguson, Tubby Hayes, Harry South, and Stan Tracey, the Brussels Big Band, and the Ray Charles band on a European tour. He has also played in small groups with musicians such as Philly Joe Jones, Zoot Sims, Al Cohn, Red Rodney, Hampton Hawes, Nat Adderley, Al Haig, Bill Watrous, and Dick Morrissey, and singers such as Jimmy Witherspoon, Joe Williams, Jon Hendricks, and Anita O’Day. He is a member of Charlie Watts’ Tentet (see Charlie Watts And The Tentet). He has recorded with the Peter King Quartet (for which there is a Last.fm streamable track: “In a Monochrome”) the Peter King Quintet, and with the Al Haig Trio and Art Themen as the University College School All Stars.

King’s composing has moved beyond individual numbers for performance and recording, and includes an opera, Zyklon, in collaboration with Julian Barry.

His autobiography, Flying High: A Jazz Life and Beyond, has been published by Northway Books.

2. One of Nigeria’s greatest tenor sax players, Peter King cut his teeth in Roy Chicago’s highlife big band in Lagos before studying music in London and the U.S. Returning to the U.K. in 1971, he recorded the soundtrack to “Black Blast”, a televised theatre piece designed as a forum to debate U.K. black community issues. With the session payment, King recorded Shango, a funk/jazz/highlife album covering topics such as freedom for Africa and Shango, Yoruba God of thunder and storms. King enjoyed moderate success with albums on the Orbitone label and the Shango album finally surfaced on Strut in 2001.

3. Peter King (b.1954) is a U.S. singer-singwriter.

King was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1954. His early influences were blues and singer-songwriters including James Taylor and Joni Mitchell. King studied classical music at Penn State University. He studied jazz and Brazilian guitar with Marty Ashby in Pittsburgh and earned an M.A. in guitar performance from Duquesne University in 1994.

4. Peter King is organist at Bath Abbey in England.

Edited by Grosseteste on 14 Jul 2013, 16:06

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