Peter Beets

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Peter Beets is a Dutch jazz pianist. He has shared the stage with jazz greats including 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 he released his "New York Trio", which was the start of his international career.



The beginning[edit]

Peter Beets was born on 12 June 1971 in The Hague. His mother is a music teacher and his father a jazz-playing gynaecologist with a love of Oscar Peterson and Art Blakey. This musical family, which includes two elder brothers, Marius and Alexander, moved in 1972 to Groenlo, where Peter received his first piano lessons at the age of six. Both Marius (1966) and Alexander (1968) become professional musicians - on string bass and tenor sax. After college, Peter studied from 1989 at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague. He combined his music studies with law school, but he decided to concentrate exclusively on music.

The start of a worldwide career[edit]

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 trio album called “First Date”, with drummer Jeff Hamilton, the driving force behind Monty Alexander and Oscar Peterson. Peter became a popular pianist both in the Netherlands and abroad and accompanied Deborah Brown, Dee Daniels and Holland's "First Lady of Jazz" Rita Reys. In 1998 he graduated from the conservatory 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 by Peter Beets recorded on the Criss Cross label. After the sequel, “New York Trio Page Two” recorded with the world-famous Larry Grenadier on bass he made a third CD for the Criss Cross label, this time with Reginald Veal on bass and drummer Herlin Riley, known from the group around Wynton Marsalis. In October 2007 the CD “New Groove” appeared on the renowned label. This time he chose to perform without drums, but with the strength of piano, guitar and bass. The CD is recorded in New York featuring Joe Cohn (guitar) and Reuben Rogers (bass). A few songs are recorded with a Dutch line up: Martijn van Iterson (guitar) and Ruud Jacobs (bass).

The present[edit]

In 2010 Peter Beets released two CDs. 'Blues for the Date' is a live recording Peter made with the Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw. This album features mainly songs composed by Peter Beets. It won an Edison Award (The Dutch equivalent of the Grammy).

In Autumn 2010, Criss Cross released the fifth album by Peter Beets: 'Chopin meets the Blues'. On this album he uses Chopin melodies as a basis for jazz improvisation. He recorded this album with Joe Cohn (guitar), Reuben Rogers (double bass) and Greg Hutchinson (drums)

In February 2013 he recorded again with this rhythm section. This CD called "Portrait of Peterson" is an hommage to one of his biggest idols, Oscar Peterson.

Peter has had very successful tours with his trio in Germany, Switzerland, Finland and Poland as well as in Japan and the USA. He played at the famous Birdland Club in New York as a “special guest” for one week.

Theatre programmes[edit]

A duet for two grand pianos with Chick Corea in the large auditorium of the Amsterdam Concertgebouw resulted in a performance in trio setting there on 16 April 2005. The success of the trio’s first Dutch theatre tour “From Bach to Blues” (2003) led to a return in the theatres in 2005 with the programme “Chopin meets the Blues”, followed by “Porgy and Bess” (2006), presenting his arrangements of the famous Gershwin opera. In Autumn 2007 he returned with the programme “The Blues goes Latin” highlighting Latin American rhythms. After touring extensively abroad throughout 2008 Peter’s trio returned to the Dutch stage in 2009 with “a tribute to Oscar Peterson” dedicated to one of his greatest heroes. In 2010 Dutch piano legend Louis van Dijk invited Peter to join him on an extennded theatre tour called the Piano Kings and in the following season Peter Beets worked with the world famous Rosenberg Trio.


Peter Beets

  • 1996 - First Date
  • 2001 - New York Trio
  • 2003 - New York Trio - Page Two
  • 2005 - New York Trio - Page Three
  • 2005 - Live at the Concertgebouw - Volume I
  • 2005 - Live at the Concertgebouw - Volume II
  • 2007 - New Groove
  • 2009 - First Date Live
  • 2010 - Blues for the Date (with Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw)
  • 2010 - Chopin meets the Blues
  • 2011 - Live at Amersfoort Jazz (with Curtis Fuller)
  • 2013 - Portrait of Peterson

Beets Brothers

  • 1990 - Beets Brothers
  • 1993 - School is Closed Now
  • 1993 - In the New World
  • 1995 - Brotherwise
  • 1997 - In Concert At The Jazzcafe
  • 2000 - Powerhouse
  • 2002 - Live in Holland (CD)
  • 2003 - Live in Holland (DVD)

Albums by other artists with a contribution by Peter Beets

Quotes about Peter Beets[edit]

  • " Outstanding compositions", "fantastic timing", "brilliant" Jazzreview
  • " Such an awesome talent should be cherished and applauded, as it isn't an everyday occurrence. Beets is a fully grown monster, and it may not be long before Jazz lovers on both sides of the ocean become aware of that." Jack Bowers, Cadence Records
  • " The best young pianist I've heard in the last ten years. Beets leaves nothing unsaid. He swings with authority, creates constantly, improvises as though he was born doing it, and all of this with a light and lithesome touch. He's so good that it would make little difference what tunes he chose. Peter Beets is going to scare the hell out of some people." George Fendel, Jazzscene
  • " The title of one of Beets' originals -"Admirable"- is an appropriate metaphor for all of them. Stylistically, he's a lineal descendant of such quintessential boppers as Bud Powell, Hampton Hawes, Bobby Timmons and Wynton Kelly and is closely attuned to their modern progeny but with a lyrical outlook and rhytmic conception of his own underscored by tasteful, cogently structured lines that always swing and a technique that rivals anyone this side of vintage Oscar Peterson." Jack Bowers, Cadence


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