Photo by George Thomas Mendel

Previous events

Paul Simon's World

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Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, University of Pittsburgh, main campus, Pittsburgh, PA

Performer/guitar teacher Peter King leads five two-hour classes of lecture, discussion, and guided listening tracing the extraordinary, sometimes controversial career of Paul Simon. Classes are open to students enrolled in OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) at University of Pittsburgh.

Peter King and his Band of Fast Friends

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Tavern in the Wall (formerly The Aspinwall Grille), 211 Commercial Ave., Aspinwall, PA 15215

Peter King and his Band of Fast Friends zoom into Tavern and the Wall for a return engagement. The band includes King, acoustic and electric guitars/vocals; Marc Reisman, harmonica; Gary Pandolfo, bass; and Vince Taglieri, drums. Catch 'em if you can!

Quiet Fire: The Music of James Taylor (taught by Peter King)

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Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, University of Pittsburgh, main campus, Pittsburgh, PA

Hear a few notes from his guitar, and you know it’s James Taylor. Now 70, the writer of “Fire and Rain,” “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight” and “Carolina in My Mind” has influenced pop, folk and country with his jazz-tinged chords and syncopated rhythms. The melodies and harmonies go down easy, but a closer listen reveals nuance, power and surprise. Taylor’s socially conscious, sometimes tormented soul reveals itself in songs about drug addiction, the First Gulf War and Martin Luther King. Other songs draw on his brother’s death, his difficult relationship with his father and his family's seafaring past. In a 5-session course, musician/guitar teacher Peter King will explore what makes Taylor’s music so original. Through guided listening to Taylor’s recordings as well as songs played live by the instructor on his guitar, the class will gain a deeper appreciation of the art of Sweet Baby James.

Steve Hackman and The Mendelssohn Choir with special guest Peter King in The Times They Are A-Changin' - The Music of Bob Dylan

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Mr. Smalls, Millvale, PA

Peter King joins renowned conductor/arranger/composer Steve Hackman, the Mendelssohn Choir and a string quintet in an all-Bob Dylan program that re-imagines matchless songs including "Like a Rolling Stone," "Tangled Up in Blue" and "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right." Tickets are available at or at 844-4-FLY-TIX

Hear Peter performing live on the Saturday Light Brigade radio show, recorded March 26, 2011.

"The male quartet in “Tangled up in Blue” and guitarist and singer Peter King’s rendition of “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” were standouts." 
— Pittsburgh Post-Gazette review of The Times They Are A-Changin': The Music of Bob Dylan

“Jazzy, easy-going acoustic folk-pop in the vein of vintage James Taylor and Paul Simon.”
— Scott Mervis, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (See complete article.)

"King has brought a fresh approach to the city’s singer-songwriter scene, with an accessible style that encompasses blues, jazz and Brazilian rhythms.”
— Scott Tady, Beaver County Times

“If guitar and songwriting are considered an art, than Peter King might be the Da Vinci of Pittsburgh’s coffeehouse scene. Don't miss your chance to hear this musical master at work!”
— Nikki Trader, In Pittsburgh

“Peter can pen a lyric with all the poignant whimsy of James Taylor and play with the dazzling dexterity of Django.”
— Jack Erdie, Three Penny Opry concert series

“His acoustic jazz, blues (and Latin!) infused original songs coupled with well chosen traditional and pop covers make for a great evening of live music.”
— Eve Goodman, Modern Formations concert series

“Peter King, his songs and his band delighted the crowd at the Resaca Series spring house concert. With Mark Perna on bass and Marc Reisman on harmonica, Peter was in top-notch form on guitar and vocals. He's also a gracious and engaging performer.”
— Diana Nelson Jones, presenter, Resaca Series, Mexican War Streets, Pittsburgh

"As the artist providing background music for our cocktail reception, Peter was the master! Our University of Pittsburgh alumni reception required an engaging yet subtle style, and Peter’s solo guitar performance delivered on all levels. He was professional, warm, genuine and so very talented with his six-string. Many of our guests complimented the music … personally, I look forward to hearing Peter play any chance I get!"
— Patty Kummick
Director of Development, University of Pittsburgh, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

"Peter King is the consummate professional and I would recommend him for your event. He recently performed for the 10th Anniversary Celebration of our program ... The music was unobtrusive to those speaking but if you stopped and listened, it was lovely. He performed mainly instrumental songs but did sing a few tunes because our group wanted him to sing.
Almost as important as the beautiful music was the ease and trust working with Peter. I gave him the parameters, discussed what we were trying to achieve, and let him perform. For me as an event planner, there was no extra stress."

— Patricia J. Szczepanski
Program Assistant, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, University of Pittsburgh

"Recently, my new husband and I were married and Peter King provided a wonderful musical backdrop for our wedding. Peter played instrumental background as our guests arrived and wowed the guests with a moving Keith Urban song in which he sang for a very special bridal march!
Our guests were highly impressed with Peter's musical talent.
If you're looking for guitarist/ singer to create a beautiful memory for your day, look no further. I would highly recommend Peter King."

— Sharon Letterle
O'Hara Twp.

“What a talented guitarist – and very professional! Peter was able to work with us on an extremely short time scale. His arrangements of the music we picked for our wedding were both appropriate and unique. We received many compliments. We are thrilled to have found Peter. It was such a pleasure to hear him play.”
  — Bill and Heather Ryan
 Diamond, Ohio

“Peter - Thank you so much for the wonderful music at our wedding reception. My wife was thoroughly pleased with not only the blend of music during the cocktail hour and dinner, but also noted that each and every couple attending the event went out of their way to remark on your music. I was particularly pleased with your rendition of my wife's wedding song!
Some of the guests commented on the food or wine, the floral arrangements and the ease with which so many strangers interacted so well together, but
all of the attendees commented on your wonderful music and asked how I found you. I told them that I was lucky to have seen you play before and that Pink and I are hoping to have you at our Christmas Party later this year.”
— Pink and Jim Carroll
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 

“King has gained a loyal following through his intricate guitar work, exciting singing and evocative, richly melodic songs, including the cult classic, ‘Capital of Idaho.’”
— (Philadelphia) City Line News

“He plays an eclectic array of material with dancing and delicate technique.”
— Derek Harper, (Philadelphia) Main Line Times

“… an eclectic set of arrangements. ‘Dig This Demo,’ his first self-released disc, reflects his penchant for retooling folky standards.”
— John Hayes, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (See full preview.)

“… proof yet again that we don’t have to look any further than our own back yard for great talent.”
— Mark M. Weber, Shadyside Summer Arts Festival

“I love his style — bluesy, but he’s got his own thing. The guitar playing is particularly strong.”
— David Jay, Shadyside Summer Arts Festival

“The 2000 Three Rivers Arts Festival closed on Sunday, June 18 as one of the most successful Festivals in recent years. I would like to take this opportunity to express our thanks to you for your role in that success. The professionalism, preparation and quality of your performance at this year’s Festival contributed immeasurably to the festival Performing Arts program. It was a pleasure to present your performance at the event.”
— Donna J. Garda, Assistant Director for Performing Arts, Three Rivers Arts Festival

“Peter King’s flashy guitar and soulful singing captured the Hampshire audience. From his opening song to his encore, it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening. ”
— Ford Myers, Hampshire College

“He writes, sings, and plays in a style that stands out — it is unique and memorable. He also has a good-natured, down-to-earth stage presence that warms a crowd. Peter King is an original talent. ”
— Andy Kimbel, Montgomery County Community College

“Peter King gave a top quality performance. He’s got his delivery down. He knows how to put a song across. He also has a knack for playing the right tune at the right time. The audience loved it, and shouted for more.”
— Jimmy Hunt, Around-the-Bend Tavern

“You could tell he dug what he was doing, and that enthusiasm was infectious. The crowd enjoyed.”
— Joey Elia, Red-Eye Tavern

“Peter's music is a little off the beaten track, with one foot in the singer-songwriter world and another in the world of jazz. It's gorgeous stuff.”
— Mark Perna, producer and bassist with Don Aliquo, Sr., Ken Karsh and (truth in advertising!) Peter King

“I like his style. His melodies are catchy and his lyrics hit home. He has command of his craft, a real pro.”
— Joel Dorn, Grammy award-winning recording director for Roberta Flack, Don McLean, Leon Redbone