Gilles Peterson

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Gilles Peterson
Gilles Peterson 01.jpg
Gilles Peterson.
Background information
Birth name Gilles Jerome Moehrle
Born (1964-09-28) 28 September 1964 (age 49)
Caen, France
Origin France/Switzerland
Genres Disc jockey
Years active 1986–present
Jazz pianist Robert Mitchell (left) with Gilles Peterson in October 2008.

Gilles Peterson (born 28 September[1][2] 1964,[3][4][5] Caen, France[3]) is a British-based Franco-Swiss[6] DJ, record collector and record label owner residing in London. Via his labels Acid Jazz, Talkin' Loud, and latterly Brownswood Recordings, he has been associated with the careers of well-known artists of the 1990s such as Erykah Badu, Roni Size and Jamiroquai.

After starting out on pirate radio, and having shows on various legal London-based radio stations, most notably Kiss FM dance music station, he was recruited to the BBC's youth-oriented Radio 1 in 1998. Since 2012, he hosts a 3 hour BBC 6 Music Saturday show, 3-6pm. Peterson is known for eclectic musical selections, and has been occasionally described as the new John Peel .[citation needed] However whilst John Peel had an "anything goes" range of tastes composing his show, Peterson's focus has always been jazz music, generally modern jazz, with a strong emphasis on its translation to a club environment, mixed with associated music styles.

Widely acclaimed as a musical taste-maker, he spreads his influence on music listeners around the world mostly through his Saturday afternoon BBC Radio 6 Music radio show.[7] His Worldwide show is re-broadcast from eight European countries, including: Radio Nova (France), Stu Bru (Belgium), FM4 (Austria), Radio X (Germany) and Funkhaus Europa (Germany). Parallel to this, his frequent DJing gigs around the world also have cemented a worldwide following.


Born as Gilles Jerome Moehrle[4] to a mother from Paris and a father from Zürich, he attended the Roman Catholic John Fisher School. He became known on the London circuit as a DJ specialising in the new breed of "acid jazz", drawing on the jazz, funk and Latin fusions of the 1970s. First heard as a DJ on the London pirate radio station Radio Invicta, he went on to host "Mad On Jazz" on BBC Radio London in 1986–87, then ran a club night[clarification needed] in Camden Town.[citation needed]


That club, and one of Peterson's best remembered club sessions, was Talkin' Loud Sayin' Something at the old Dingwalls club in Camden, North West London which ran from the late 1980s until March 1991. The sessions were characterised by jazz dancers in suits hats and spats, heavyweight jazz dance classics including tracks from Yusef Lateef, Pharoah Sanders, Freddie Hubbard, Airto and Herbie Hancock and the anthemic In The Fast Lane by Jean-Luc Ponty; but the jazz was fused with hip-hop and the more experimental tracks. Gilles played alongside fellow London DJ Patrick Forge at most of the Dingwalls' sessions, as well as separately at many other underground club nights and music weekenders. On 8 October 2006, both Peterson Patrick played at a one-off show at the old site of Dingwalls (now a Jongleurs comedy club). A compilation album of popular songs from the club was also released at the same time, Sunday Afternoon At Dingwalls.[citation needed]

Jazz FM[edit]

In March 1990, Peterson became a disc jockey on London's first-ever dedicated jazz station 102.2 Jazz FM. The three hour show was stripped into sections including the "Samba 60" and the "Vibrazone". Artists as diverse as the Freestyle Fellowship, Sérgio Mendes and Leon Thomas would all appear on the same playlist. He was forced to leave the station after making anti-war comments during the first Gulf War.[8]

Kiss 100 FM[edit]

September 1990 saw London pirate dance music station Kiss 100 FM become legal when it acquired a licence and started to broadcast from Holloway Road in North London. Patrick Forge was then given the space to create his own show, with the two DJs continuing to work together at Dingwalls until the "last dance" on 3 March 1991. Peterson moved over to Kiss FM himself after being fired by Jazz FM. In his shows on Kiss FM he played acts as diverse as Josh Wink, Gang Starr and Horace Silver in the space of a single programme. He was then hired by BBC Radio 1 in 1998.[citation needed]

Radio 1[edit]

From 1998 to 2012, through his BBC show Worldwide - which was originally produced by longtime collaborator Benji B, Karen P (Folded Wing), Ben Cave, Beccy Grierson, Alex Kenning and currently Dave O'Donnell - Peterson continued to present a wide range of music that may be new to its young audiences. The show always presented a combination of new, older and often very rare records from the late 1950s to 1980s. Every three months or so, Peterson dedicated a whole show to older vinyl releases in a special version of his show he subtitles as Brownswood Basement; two associated compilation albums with the same name containing older personal classics have been released on the United States label Ubiquity Records's offshoot Luv N' Haight. He has been associated with two Brownswood labels - the name comes from the road in north London where his house was located. This building is now primarily a place Peterson uses to store his huge record collection. In August 2004 the show moved from Wednesday (midnight til 2am) to an earlier Sunday slot (11:00 to 01:00) with a spectacular live outside broadcast from The Big Chill at Eastnor Castle Herefordshire featuring Bugz In The Attic performing a DJ set, and interviews with house DJ Tom Middleton and Mr. Scruff.

One of the highlights of the new format BBC Radio 1 show was the special sessions from the BBC's Maida Vale Studios. These have included artists such as Roots Manuva, Björk and the Floating Points Ensemble. In September 2006, Peterson's show on Radio 1 was moved from Sunday night to Wednesday night (more precisely the early hours of Thursday morning), 02:00 to 04:00 (GMT). The first show included a live appearance from Lupe Fiasco. The show is currently broadcast live between 2am-4am on Wednesday mornings. In 2002 he released a compilation album, "Impressed with Gilles Peterson", featuring rare and forgotten about British Jazz from the 1950-1960s, that Peterson had collected over the years. This led to many of the records being re-released to a new audience. This in turn led to a series of concerts featuring some of the artists and a documentary about the history of British jazz ("Jazz Britannia").[citation needed]

Annually, Peterson picked his favourite records of the year, known as his Worldwide Winners, which listeners of his radio show could vote on via the Radio 1 website to get down to a final top 10 list of winners. In later years, from 2004 onwards, this expanded into the Worldwide Winners Awards with an event held at a London club venue; Cargo in 2004 and onto the bigger Koko in Camden in 2005, with full outside broadcast coverage by Radio 1, and expanded sections like "Best Clubnight", "Best Record Shop", "Best Compilation Album", and a special award called "The John Peel'Play More Jazz' Award" given to an artist, often newcomer, who has displayed special noteworthy work over the year.

In late 2011 Peterson announced that after 13 years at the station he would be leaving BBC Radio 1, following his last show in the early hours of Wednesday 28 March, 02:00 to 04:00 (GMT),[9] and moving to a new show on BBC Radio 6 Music.

Radio 6 Music[edit]

Following his departure from Radio 1, Gilles started a new 3 hour Saturday afternoon show on BBC Radio 6 Music, beginning on Saturday 7 April 2012, running weekly from 15:00 to 18:00 (GMT), and giving him an extra hour of broadcast time.[10] Like his previous Radio 1 programme, it is made by independent production company Somethin' Else for the BBC.[11][12]

Record Labels[edit]

Gilles Peterson has played an important role on four record labels. In 1987, together with DJ Baz Fe Jazz, he was recruited by Ace Records to create the sublabel BGP Records.[13] The soul, funk and jazz dance reissue label took its name from the founders' initials but was officially dubbed "Beat Goes Public". In 1988 he and Eddie Piller founded Acid Jazz Records, an influential[citation needed] label whose roster included the Brand New Heavies, Jamiroquai, Corduroy, the James Taylor Quartet and Snowboy. After growing disillusioned with the scene that grew up around the label, he went on to run Talkin' Loud, enlisting the help of fellow DJ Norman Jay who formed his own Global Village label.

The label drew its name from the James Brown track Talkin' Loud & Sayin' Nothing that had inspired the name of his club at Dingwalls. The roster of Talkin' Loud included Nuyorican Soul (a side project of the producers Masters At Work), Courtney Pine, MJ Cole, Young Disciples, Incognito, Terry Callier, The Roots, Galliano and Roni Size's project Reprazent. Courtney Pine, Young Disciples, MJ Cole & 4 Hero all received nominations for the Mercury Prize, with Reprazent winning the award in 1997.

Peterson's most recent record label, Brownswood Recordings, was launched in 2006. It was named after the road in North London where the house he used to live is, which he has since had to move out of after his record collection became too big, and which now acts as a warehouse for his enormous collection of vinyl records.[citation needed] To date the label has released records by British singer/songwriter Ben Westbeech, 45 piece live act The Heritage Orchestra, Japanese punk jazz band Soil & "Pimp" Sessions, Brooklyn based pianist Elan Mehler, jazz vocalist José James and Zara McFarlane; Mercury-nominated artist Ghostpoet, Kenyan-British group Owiny Sigoma and electric producer Gang Colours; eight volumes of a soulful compilation album series called Brownswood Bubblers, and a special Cuban project - Havana Cultura - which saw Gilles travel to Havana to record at Egrem Studios with gifted jazz pianist Roberto Fonseca and a host of new Cuban talent. A second volume was released in 2011, Havana Cultura: The Search Continues, during which DJ Mala also recorded his impression, due to be released in May 2012. Taking on the role of Executive Producer, he recorded an album of new material (plus a handful of covers) entitled 'Gilles Peterson presents Havana Cultura'. Incidentally, this label should not be confused with Talkin' Loud, the previous label he was involved with, or indeed another imprint called Brownswood Records (note: Records NOT Recordings) which was used to release music from the United Future Organization as well as other Japanese associated projects.


Gilles Peterson performing in 2004

Peterson has made many regular appearances at music festivals across the world including Lovebox in east London, The Big Chill in Hereford and the Southport Weekender[14] in the north west of England. Away from the UK he has appeared at the Exit Festival in Serbia, INmusic festival in Croatia and in 2005 the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Gilles also curated his own stage at Montreux Jazz Festival for 10 years during the 1990s.

Peterson and Freshly Cut, a French event production company from Montpellier, collaborated to create the Worldwide Festival.[15] This started out as a small intimate festival during the summertime in the coastal town of Sète in France in 2006. It was expanded to include a mini version of the festival in Singapore from 2008.

Dipping his toe into the world of production, Peterson has collaborated with Switch (DJ) and DJ Clipz in the past, but currently works with his engineer Simbad, remixing the likes of Noro Morales and Fatoumata Diawara to date.

Grand Theft Auto[edit]

WorldWide FM is a radio station featured in Grand Theft Auto V. The station is named after Peterson's real-world weekly radio shows Worldwide on BBC Radio 1 (2007-2012, now succeeded by a self-titled show on BBC Radio 6 Music), and globally syndicated Worldwide International.


  • Sony Gold Award - Best Specialist Music Radio Show, 2000.[3]
  • Awarded MBE in 2004.[3]
  • Outstanding Contribution To Dance Music 2011.
  • Honorary Masters Degree Nottingham University
  • AIM Independent Music Awards - Indie Champion 2013


  • Jazz Juice Street Sounds 1985
  • Jazz Juice 2 Street Sounds 1985
  • Blue Bossa Blue Note 1986
  • Jazz Juice 3 Street Sounds 1986
  • Jazz Juice 4 Street Sounds 1986
  • Baptist Beat Blue Note 1987
  • Cal's Pals BGP Records 1987
  • Jazz Juice 5 Street Sounds 1987
  • Jazz Juice 6 Street Sounds 1987
  • Focus On Fusion BGP Records 1987
  • Focus On Fusion Volume 2 BGP Records 1987
  • Acid Inc., The Best Of Funk Inc. BGP Records 1988
  • Acid Jazz And Other Illicit Grooves Polydor (Germany) 1988
  • B&G Party BGP Records 1988
  • Beat On (The Best Of The Blackbyrds) BGP Records 1988
  • Dance Juice Vol. 2 BGP Records 1988
  • Dance Juice Vol. 3 BGP Records 1988
  • Jazz Juice 7 Street Sounds 1988
  • Jazz Juice 8 Street Sounds 1988
  • Milestone Memories BGP Records 1988
  • The Best Of Azymuth BGP Records 1988
  • Acid Jazz Vol. 4 BGP Records 1989
  • Jazz Today Volume 1 BGP Records 1989
  • Latin Jazz - Volume 1 BGP Records 1989
  • Latin Jazz - Volume 2 BGP Records 1989
  • Soul Jazz Volume 1 BGP Records 1989
  • The Best Of Acid Jazz BGP Records 1989
  • Totally Wired Acid Jazz 1989
  • Totally Wired II Acid Jazz 1989
  • Acid Jazz Vol. 1 BGP Records 1991
  • Acid Jazz Vol. 2 BGP Records 1991
  • Acid Jazz Vol. 3 BGP Records 1991
  • Acid Inc., The Best Of Funk Inc. BGP Records 1991
  • Make It Deep And Phunky Blue Note 1992
  • The Best Of Latin Jazz BGP Records 1992
  • Mo' Deep Mo' Phunky Blue Note 1993
  • Brasil - Escola Do Jazz Toshiba EMI Ltd 1994
  • Brazilica! Talkin' Loud 1994
  • Jazz Juice #1 Beechwood Music, Street Sounds 1994
  • Jazz Juice #2 Beechwood Music, Street Sounds 1994
  • Talkin' Jazz: Themes From The Black Forest Talkin' Loud 1994
  • Talkin' Jazz Volume 2 (More Themes From The Black Forest) Talkin' Loud, Polydor (Germany) 1994
  • Jazz Juice #3 Beechwood Music, Street Sounds 1995
  • Talkin' Verve Verve Records 1995
  • Brazilica, Volume II Talkin' Loud 1997
  • Desert Island Mix Journeys By DJ 1997
  • Talkin' Jazz Vol [III] Talkin' Loud 1997
  • Talkin' Louder Year On Year Talkin' Loud, DJ Magazine 1997
  • Free Style Mercury 1998
  • INCredible Sound Of Gilles Peterson INCredible 1999
  • Sound Of The City Vol. 2 - London Motor Music, Universal Jazz (Germany) 1999
  • Worldwide Programme 1 Talkin' Loud 2000
  • GP01 Trust The DJ 2001
  • GP02 - Eclectic Trust The DJ 2002
  • GP03 Trust The DJ 2002
  • Impressed With Gilles Peterson Universal Jazz (UK) 2002
  • Worldwide 2 Programme 2 Talkin' Loud 2002
  • A Journey To The Dawn Temposphere 2003
  • Broken Folk Funk Latin Soul Muzik Magazine 2003
  • GP04 - Eclectic Trust The DJ 2003
  • GP05 - Eclectic Session Vol. 2 Trust The DJ 2003
  • Shibuya Jazz Classics - Gilles Peterson Collection - TRIO Issue Solid Records 2003
  • Southport Weekender suSU 2003
  • Worldwide 3 Programme 3 Talkin' Loud 2003
  • Gilles Peterson In Brazil Ether 2004
  • Impressed 2 With Gilles Peterson Universal Jazz (UK) 2004
  • Worldwide Exclusives Talkin' Loud 2004
  • Brasil - The Rhythm And Art Of Movement Nike 2005
  • Gilles Peterson Digs America - Brownswood U.S.A. Luv N' Haight 2005
  • Gilles Peterson In Africa Ether 2005
  • Gilles Peterson Presents - The BBC Sessions Vol. 1 Ether 2005
  • Petit Dejeuner Au Lit! Most Records, Habitat 2005
  • Smell The Grass Mixmag 2005
  • Brownswood Bubblers Brownswood Recordings 2006
  • Gilles Peterson & Patrick Forge Present - Sunday Afternoon At Dingwalls Ether 2006
  • Gilles Peterson Back In Brazil Ether 2006
  • Pure Fire! A Gilles Peterson Impulse! Collection Impulse! 2006
  • The Kings Of Jazz - Compiled by Gilles Peterson and Jazzanova Rapster Records 2006
  • Brownswood Bubblers Two Brownswood Recordings 2007
  • Fania DJ Series Gilles Peterson Fania Records 2007
  • Gilles Peterson Digs America 2 - Searching At The End Of An Era Luv N' Haight 2007
  • Brownswood Bubblers Three Brownswood Recordings 2008
  • Gilles Peterson In The House ITH Records 2008
  • Brazilika Far Out Recordings 2009
  • Brownswood Bubblers Four Brownswood Recordings 2009
  • Freedom Rhythm & Sound - Revolutionary Jazz & The Civil Rights Movement 1963-82 Soul Jazz Records 2009
  • Gilles Peterson Presents Havana Cultura: New Cuba Sound Brownswood Recordings 2009
  • Brownswood Bubblers Five Brownswood Recordings 2010
  • Brownswood Bubblers Six Brownswood Recordings 2010
  • Everyday Blue Note - Compiled by Gilles Peterson Blue Note (Japan Only) 2010
  • Gilles Peterson Presents Havana Cultura: Remixed Brownswood Recordings 2010
  • Gilles Peterson Presents: Worldwide BBE 2010
  • Heartbeat Presents One Time! Mixed by Gilles Peterson × Air Lastrum 2010
  • Horo: A Jazz Portrait Dejavu 2010
  • Bossa Nova And The Rise Of Brazilian Music In The 1960s Soul Jazz Records 2011
  • Brownswood Bubblers Seven Brownswood Recordings 2011
  • Gilles Peterson Presents Havana Cultura: The Search Continues Brownswood Recordings 2011
  • Masterpiece: Created By Gilles Peterson Ministry Of Sound 2011
  • Brownswood Bubblers Eight Brownswood Recordings 2012
  • Gilles Peterson - Black Jazz Radio Snow Dog (Japan Only) 2012
  • Brownswood Bubblers Nine Brownswood Recordings 2012
  • Brownswood One Hundred Remixed Brownswood Recordings 2013
  • Brownswood Bubblers Ten Brownswood Recordings 2013


  1. ^ Date mentioned by Gilles on his Radio 1 show, 03:50 Thursday, 2 October 2008.
  2. ^ Date (not including year), as mentioned (indirectly) by Gilles in his interview on Ross Allen's Ministry of Sound radio show on 17 October 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d "Gilles Peterson, Esq, MBE's Authorised Biography". Debrett's. Retrieved 29 Mar 2013. 
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^ Guinness Who's Who of Popular Music Publ. 1 October 1993, Guinness World Records Limited
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Peterson profile ar BBC
  9. ^ Gilles Peterson website
  10. ^ Patchwork, Alex (10 March 2012). "Gilles announces new radio show on BBC Radio 6 Music". Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  11. ^ Plunkett, John (9 March 2012). "Gilles Peterson finds home on 6 Music". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  12. ^ Moss, Rowan (9 March 2012). "Gilles Peterson on BBC Radio 6 Music". Somethin' Else. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  13. ^ BGP Records History
  14. ^ Southport Weekender website, accessed 28 Sep 2006 and [1] Southport Reporter
  15. ^

External links[edit]

Main sites[edit]

Radio tracklistings[edit]

Articles, biographies, & other[edit]