He has shared the stage with jazz greats like Chick Corea, Wynton Marsalis, “Toots” Thielemans, Elvin Jones, George Coleman, Johnny Griffin, Benny Golson and John Clayton. He recorded with Jeff Hamilton, Larry Grenadier, Greg Hutchinson and Curtis Fuller and in 2001 his album “New York Trio” was released, which brought him international acclaim.
Peter Beets (1971) was from birth surrounded by music: classical from his mother who is a music pedagogue, and jazz from his father who has a great love of Oscar Peterson and Art Blakey. Although originally his parents did not associate the word “musician” with the word “career”, music is definitely in the family’s blood. His brothers Marius (1966) and Alexander (1968) also became professionals, on string bass and tenor saxophone. 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. In 1996, Peter recorded a remarkable trio album called “First Date” with drummer Jeff Hamilton, Peter became a much-wanted pianist both inside and outside the Netherlands, accompanying, among others “First Lady of Jazz” Rita Reys. In 1998 he finished his conservatory studies and won the Prix Martial Solal in Paris. In the same year he 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.
In 2001 he recorded the cd “New York Trio” with the stunning rhythm tandem Rodney Whitaker and Willie Jones III, the first cd of Peter on the renowned 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 Criss Cross, this time with bassist Reginald Veal and drummer Herlin Riley. In 2007 Criss Cross released the cd “New Groove”, on which Beets chose to perform without drums, but with the exciting line-up of piano, bass and guitar.
In October 2010 Peter went back to the studio in New York to record his 5th cd for Criss Cross, “Chopin meets the Blues”, with exciting jazz-arrangements of the Polish grandmaster’s music. On this record he plays with Joe Cohn (guitar), Reuben Rogers (bass) and Greg Hutchinson (drums), with whom he occasionally plays throughout the year. In 2013 Peter Beets recorded the album ‘Portrait of Peterson’ with the same rhythm section. On this album, which was nominated for an Edison (Dutch equivalent of the Grammy), he performs favourite tracks and compositions of one of his biggest idols, Oscar Peterson.
In the fall of 2015 Peter presented a new CD with live recordings of his Chopin arrangements, “Chopin meets the Blues Live”, which also received a nomination for an Edison. Later that year he toured with these arrangements, now orchestrated for a full size big band, “Chopin meets the Blues goes Big!”. Currently Peter performs with an all-star group featuring the world-famous Han Bennink, Ruud Jacobs and Benjamin Herman. He also is currently touring with the Peter Beets Trio, playing Peter’s original compositions, which brought him the 2010 Edison.
The Peter Beets Trio has been successfully touring in most countries in Europe as well as in Asia, Russia, the USA and Japan. Memorable are his performances at Tokyo Jazz Festival (2011 and 2015), Java Jazz Festival (2014 and 2015), North Sea Jazz Festival (2014, 2015 and 2016), Salle Pleyel in Paris, Lincoln Center Rose Hall, Birdland and Blue Note in New York (2014, 2015 and 2016) and the Newport Jazz Festival (2014 Yoshi’s in Oakland and the Composer’s Union Hall in Moscow. An extraordinary duet for two grand pianos with Chick Corea in the main hall of the Amsterdam Concertgebouw resulted in regular performances of Peter’s trio there. In March 2017 Peter Beets will play a duet on two grand pianos with Grammy Award-winning Roger Kellaway at the opening of a new jazz series in the Sheen Center in New York and in June he appears again for concerts in Philadelphia and Baltimore.