Welcome! This site highlights Peter Lerner's new CD Continuation (Origin Records, 2014).
The CD includes his latest compositions and features Chicago musicians of the highest caliber: Willie Pickens on piano, Marlene Rosenberg on bass, Charles Heath on drums, Geof Bradfield on reeds, Victor Garcia on flugelhorn, Andy Baker on trombone, Joe Rendon on percussion, and Peter Lerner on guitar. Robert Irving III, who collaborated with Miles Davis for nine years, produced the project.
Peter Lerner is “one of Chicago’s finest guitarists, a player with great technique and an equal amount of taste, soul and versatility (METROMIX).” He has performed with such jazz luminaries as Ramsey Lewis, Lee Konitz and Willie Pickens among many other notable artists. Lerner’s last CD Cry for Peace, featuring a stellar lineup including Eric Alexander, Victor Lewis, Jim Rotondi, David Hazeltine, Jerry Dodgion, Steve Davis and Ed Howard, hit #25 in the national jazz album chart and has garnered critical acclaim. The recording was produced by Grammy Award winner, Don Sickler.
Lerner was born and raised in the multi-cultural, musically diverse Hyde Park area of Chicago. Lerner credits Jimi Hendrix and Carlos Santana for inspiring him early on. In high school, Lerner fell in love with jazz after hearing Stanley Turrentine’s “Sugar” on which guitarist George Benson played. Since then, Lerner began listening heavily to and learning form the great jazz masters and has continued to study jazz, composition and improvisation. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Music from Chicago’s American Conservatory of Music, and has been working as a professional musician, composer and recording artist ever since.
It’s Lerner’s multi-faceted talent that makes him in demand: he has recorded numerous television shows and commercials, including the Oprah Winfrey Show. As a versatile guitarist, he performed with Gladys Knight, Funk icon Bootsy Collins, Charlie Wilson of the Gap Band, The Fifth Dimension, Patti LaBella and blues harpist Sugar Blue among others. He is also a faculty member at Columbia College of Chicago, where he has taught jazz guitar and improvisation since 1995, raising the next generation of musicians.
"This is a recording I’ve wanted to make for 30 years, ever since Willie Pickens was my improvisation teacher and played a duet with me on my junior recital at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago. It’s taken this long to create the right time and place. My evolution as a player, composer and arranger, finally convinced Willie that now is the time. Two years ago, I began performing with Willie, Marlene Rosenberg, and Charles Heath as a quartet, and wrote the tunes that you hear on the record. I wanted to do a straight ahead jazz record that was fresh with interesting grooves and textures, and with blowing sections that would bring out the best in each soloist. I chose Robert Irving III to produce the project because of his musicianship, arranging skills, ears, and supportive personality. He was the key in bringing out the best in everyone and bringing my conception to life," says Lerner.
Peter Lerner calls the CD “Continuation” for a variety of reasons. He says, "Continuing to strive to better oneself as a musician and as a human being I believe is the key to creating a living art, and that was my goal. As an artist, as a human being to continue in the face of difficulty is paramount to living a meaningful life. I feel that great music or art is a continuation from one generation to the next, absorbing what you like, rejecting what you don’t, and creating something new."
For more information about Peter Lerner, please visit his official website: www.peterlerner.com