Peter Madsen (pianist)

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Peter Madsen
Peter Madsen Unterfahrt OhWeh-002.jpg
Background information
Born (1955-07-19) July 19, 1955 (age 61)
Origin Racine, Wisconsin
Genres Jazz, post-bop
Occupation(s) Musician, educator, composer
Years active 1984 – present

Peter Madsen is an American jazz pianist.

Early life[edit]

Madsen was born in Racine, Wisconsin where he started playing classical piano when he was eight years old. He also classically studied upright bass at age ten. When Madsen was thirteen he started to play the piano in the jazz idiom. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire where he majored in music education, and he graduated Summa Cum Laude. Madsen's first big break in the jazz world occurred when Stan Getz invited him to tour Europe. After his tour with Getz, Madsen began regularly performing with jazz greats. He also embarked on a career as a headliner with his group, the "Peter Madsen Trio."[1]


Madsen's career has been prolific. He has produced or performed in over a hundred CD's featuring a wide range of well-known jazz talents. Beyond performances, Madsen has also worked as a composer. He has composed over 500 pieces, and has recorded over a hundred original compositions. Madsen, over the course of his career, has engaged in many notable collaborations with leading artists from Brazil, Africa and the USA. To name just a few, he has performed with the following: Stan Getz, Stanley Turrentine, Benny Golson, George Coleman, Oscar Brown Jr., Arthur Blythe, Don Cherry, James Spaulding, Kenny Garrett, Joe Lovano, Sonny Fortune, Ravi Coltrane, Randy Brecker, Toninho Horta, Maceo Parker, Pee Wee Ellis, Fred Wesley, Bobby Byrd, Lynn Collins, Martha High, Cheikh Lo, Tony Allen, Mahotella Queens, and Vusi Mahlasela. He also works as an educator, teaching students (like David Helbock) in Austria, Japan, and the United States.[2]


  • Peter Madsen is an inventive composer, skilled pianist and a positive pleasure.[3] Jazz Times
  • Madsen creates dazzling waves of energy that engulf the listener.[4] The Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Mr. Madsen makes these pieces and others cohere as a solid program, a tradition of outside-jazz thinking unified by unusual structure, meters and harmonic motion. It's the most conscientious job I've ever seen of a jazz musician building an alternative canon in just one record.[5] New York Times
  • He's the mavericks maverick, and this could well prove the year's most unlikely tour de force.[6] The Village Voice
  • Madsen makes an interesting first of what is becoming an impossible task: finding fresh lines in the most overworked book in modern jazz...the performer's pianism is often elegant and he is given a beautiful piano sound.[7] The Penguin Guide to Jazz (8th Edition)

Selected Discography[edit]

With Mario Pavone