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Peter Schimke

peter.schimke@mcnallysmith.edu

Peter Schimke

Peter began playing piano and drums at the age of eight. The music collection of his older brother, which included records by artists like B.B. King, Johnny Winter, Jimmy Hendrix, and the Beatles, provided his earliest rock influences. By the age of twelve he was playing boogie-woogie and blues piano, while singing with his older brother’s blues band. After sitting in on vocals, keyboards and drums with bands throughout his teens, Peter’s first professional gig was with the New Psychenauts.

He went on to be lead singer for the Swingin’ Combo; both bands were part of the early MPLS rock scene that launched the Replacements and Husker Du. It was about this time that he played his first professional rock gigs on keyboard, most notably with Hammond organ with blues harmonica legend Charlie Musselwhite at the Blue Max on Maui. He is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Grant and a scholarship to the Banff Arts Centre. Peter has also studied classical piano with James D. Johnson and Gary Kirkpatrick of the Verdehr Trio. He studied jazz piano with Brazilian pianist Manfredo Fest, Jim McNeely and Memphis born Harold Mabern.

Over the years Peter has either toured, performed or recorded with, among others, Iffy, Likehell, Art Farmer, Tom Harrell, Fareed Haque, Mark Murphy (co-produced “The Latin Porter” for Ben Sidran’s Go Jazz label, Julee Cruise of “Twin Peaks”, El Buho, Jeff Sipe, Victor Wooten, Estaire Godinez, Rita Coolidge and many more. Most recently, Peter has recorded a live concert with saxophonist Jerry Bergonzie that will be released on DVD as well as collaboration with Marcos Casal to be released on the label Universal Spain. He is also singing, playing and composing for his own new solo project that is currently in production.