Peter Beets (born 12 June 1971) is a Dutch jazz pianist. He has shared the stage with musicians including Chick Corea, Wynton Marsalis, Dee Dee Bridgewater, George Coleman, Johnny Griffin, Chris Potter, Kurt Rosenwinkel and John Clayton. Beets recorded with Jeff Hamilton and Curtis Fuller and in 2001 he released his New York Trio, which was the start of his international career.
Peter Beets was born 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
From 1985 the brothers performed together as The Beets Brothers. Peter won the Pall Mall Swing Award in 1988 and the Princess Christina Award in the following year. In 1990 The Beets Brothers' first album was released, followed by two more, School Is Closed Now (1993) and Brotherwise (1995). In 1996, Peter recorded a trio album called First Date, with Jeff Hamilton on drums. Beets became a popular pianist both in the Netherlands and abroad and accompanied Deborah Brown, Dee Daniels and 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 trombonist Curtis Fuller, Beets made a live recording in 1999 and won in that year the Concours de Solistes de Jazz in Monaco. More recordings followed: in 2000 Powerhouse, in 2001 All or Nothing at All.
In 2001 Beets recorded the CD New York Trio with the rhythm tandem Rodney Whitaker and Willie Jones III, his first CD on the Criss Cross label. After the sequel, New York Trio Page Two, recorded with Larry Grenadier on bass, he made a third Criss Cross CD, this time with Reginald Veal on bass and drummer Herlin Riley. In October 2007 the CD New Groove appeared on the 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).
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 Beets. It won an Edison Award (the Dutch equivalent of the Grammy).
In Autumn 2010, Criss Cross released the fifth album by 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 tours with his trio in Germany, Switzerland, Finland and Poland as well as in Japan and the USA. He played at the Birdland Club in New York as a "special guest" for one week.
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 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". In 2010 Dutch pianist 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 Rosenberg Trio.
- 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
- 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
- 1994 - Tom Klein - Statement
- 1997 - Lils Mackintosh - Seasons
- 1998 - Mark Alban Lotz Quartet - Blue Moods
- 1998 - New Concert Big Band - Festival
- 1999 - Basily - Swing For The Gipsies
- 1999 - Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw - Festival 1999, Part 1
- 1999 - Lils Mackintosh - Black Girl
- 2000 - Deborah Carter & Michael Varekamp & Frits Landesbergen - Dear Louis -
- 2000 - Masters Of Swing - Harlem Strut
- 2001 - Rosenberg Trio - Suenos Gitanos
- 2002 - The Hague All Stars - A Tribute To Horace Silver
- 2003 - Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw - 30 Jaar Sesjun
- 2003 - Rita Reys & Beets Brothers - Live In Concert
- 2004 - Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw - Sunday Nights In Amsterdam
- 2004 - Rita Reys - Beautiful Love
- 2005 - Basily - Memories
- 2005 - Marius Beets And The Powerhouse Big Band
- 2005 - Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw & Madeline Bell - Tribute To Ray Charles
- 2007 - Joe Cohn - Shared Contemplations
- 2007 - Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw - Riffs & Rhythms
- 2007 - Piet Noordijk Boptet - Jubilee Concert
- 2007 - Niels Tausk Quintet - Blown Away - An Album Of Dedications
- 2008 - Florin Niculescu - Florin Niculescu Plays Stephane Grappelli
- 2008 - Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw - Silk Rush
- 2009 - Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw - Jazz At The Concertgebouw 3
- 2009 - Ronnie Cuber & Beets Brothers - Infra-Rae
- 2010 - Joe Cohn - Fuego
- 2010 - Rita Reys - Young At Heart
- 2011 - Koh Mr. Saxman / Alexander Beets Quartet / Artvark Saxophone Quartet - King Of Jazz (Tribute To Hm King Bhumibol)
- Nastos, Michael G. "Peter Beets – Artist Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 21 August 2014.