Photo by George Thomas Mendel

Photo by George Thomas Mendel

Previous events

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 ticketfly.com or at 844-4-FLY-TIX

Peter King and his Fast Friends Band

House Concert, Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh

More details to follow!

Peter King and his Fast Friends Band

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Wallace's Tap Room, Hotel Indigo, 123 N. Highland Ave., East Liberty, Pittsburgh

Peter King (that’s me) will be performing his songs ("jazzy, easy-going acoustic folk-pop in the vein of vintage James Taylor and Paul Simon" – Post-Gazette) at Wallace's Whiskey Room + Kitchen Tuesday, Sept. 26 (that's tonight)! Expect a little less “easy-going acoustic,” as I’ll be playing plenty of electric guitar, backed by the dynamite Fast Friends Band: Mark Perna, bass; Marc Reisman, harmonica; Eric Kurtzrock, drums/vocals. Elegant, hip, happenin’ Wallace’s serves great dinners and drinks and offers an excellent viewing area for music. Check us out! Thanks, Peter www.peterkingmusic.com www.facebook.com/pkingmusic/

Know My Song Well: Bob Dylan, 1961-1966

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Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Posvar Hall, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260

Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan, now 75, was 19 when he arrived in Greenwich Village in the bitter cold winter of 1961. Although Dylan creates fascinating music to this day, he made his boldest mark in the early to mid-sixties, when he transformed the pop soundscape with his matchless topical songs, signature symbolist imagery and leap from acoustic music to raw rock ‘n’ roll. In Dylan’s early career, a smart, confident, determined musician/myth-maker emerges. So does a charged era, from the Folk Revival to the Freedom Rides. Vivid characters – from Joan Baez to Allen Ginsberg to the brash, funny, enigmatic Dylan himself – parade by. And the great songs ring out: “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall,” “Mr. Tambourine Man,” “Like a Rolling Stone” and more. Peter King, a well-known Pittsburgh guitar teacher, performer and journalist, will supplement lecture, recordings and videos with his own guitar playing to tell the story of this true American iconoclast.

Mar17

Peter King with Mark Perna

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The Backstage Bar , 237 7th Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Peter performs old and new originals, as well as distinctive covers of blues, folk and jazz standards. Bassist Mark Perna, Peter's frequent colleague onstage and in the recording studio, will bring the bottom and then some. Come hear some cool sounds, and then check out "Pump Boys and Dinettes" next door in the CLO Cabaret Theater.

Peter King with special guest Mark Perna

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

The Post-Gazette calls the music of Aspinwall's Peter King “jazzy, easy-going acoustic folk-pop in the vein of vintage James Taylor and Paul Simon.” The Beaver County Times says, "King has brought a fresh approach to the city’s singer-songwriter scene, with an accessible style that encompasses blues, jazz and Brazilian rhythms.” Joining Peter for his second set will be frequent colleague Mark Perna on bass (Richie Cole, Don Aliquo Sr., Christopher Mark Jones). King and Perna will mix originals -- including new tunes from Peter's upcoming third CD -- with standards from The Beatles to Dylan to B.B. King. The cozy, well-run and delicious Tavern in the Wall is a great place to dine, drink and hear music. Admission is free.

Revolver + 50: Best Beatles album ever?

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Cooper-Siegel Library, 403 Fox Chapel Rd., Pittsburgh, PA 15238

It was 50 years ago today (well, almost) on Aug. 6, 1966, that The Beatles released Revolver – a recording on the short list of the group’s very best music. In fact, some critics and fans rank it even higher than “Sgt. Pepper.” Why do songs like “Taxman,” “Yellow Submarine” and “Eleanor Rigby” still sound catchy, innovative and even profound a half-century after they were made? Gain some new insights through guided listening to the recordings, as well as examples played by the instructor on guitar.

The Beatles in Their Prime: Rubber Soul, Revolver and Sgt. Pepper

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Osher Center, University of Pittsburgh (attendance restricted to Osher members), Oakland (Pittsburgh), PA

Fifty years ago, The Beatles released “Rubber Soul” – the first in a string of three LPs generally regarded as among their very best. “The Beatles in Their Prime” focuses on these three landmark recordings – why Rubber Soul, Revolver and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band still sound catchy, innovative and even profound. Through guided listening to the recordings, as well as examples played by the instructor on guitar, this five-session presentation will explore the following topics: - What made the Lennon-McCartney songwriting partnership/rivalry magical -The role of producer George Martin (R.I.P. March 8, 2016), sometimes called “The Fifth Beatle” -The group’s innovative use of emerging recording studio technology - How the band was influenced by Indian ragas, Bob Dylan, musique concrete and the Beach Boys - How cultural currents of the 1960s, from drugs to Eastern religions, shaped The Beatles, and vice-versa

Peter King is a guitar teacher, performer and lecturer who lives in Aspinwall. He worked as a pop and jazz music critic at The Pittsburgh Press and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and earned an M.M. in guitar performance at Duquesne University. He has released two CDs, “The Road to Ubatuba” and “Dancing on a Long Leash” and is recording a third.

Peter King with Mark Perna

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Wallace's Tap Room, Hotel Indigo, 123 N. Highland Ave., East Liberty, Pittsburgh

Fingerstyle guitarist, songwriter and vocalist Peter King performs distinctive interpretations of songs ranging from Beatles to bossas to blues -- plus a few originals. His longtime colleague Mark Perna will join him on upright bass. No cover charge. $6 valet parking and plenty of street parking available. Wallace's Tap Room phone: 412-665-0555.

Peter King with Mark Perna

Saturday Light Brigade, WRCT-FM 88.3 and other SLB affiliates, slbradio.org

Guitarist/vocalist Peter King and bassist Mark Perna perform live on the long-running, award-winning Saturday Light Brigade radio show hosted by Larry Berger. Expect to hear an eclectic mix of original songs -- including several new tunes from Peter's upcoming third CD. slb@slbradio.org/listen 412-586-6300

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

Reviews/Testimonials
"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