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Peter King (saxophonist)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Peter King
Background information
Birth namePeter John King
Born (1940-08-11) 11 August 1940 (age 79)
Kingston upon Thames, England
GenresJazz, trad jazz
Occupation(s)Musician, composer
Years active1959–present
Associated actsCharlie Watts

Peter John King (born 11 August 1940) is an English jazz saxophonist, composer, and clarinetist.

Early life

Peter King was born in Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, on 11 August 1940. He took up the clarinet and saxophone as a teenager, entirely self-taught. His first public appearances were in 1957, playing alto in a trad jazz group at the Swan Public House, Kingston, in a group organised by trumpeter Alan Rosewell, with whom he worked at the Directorate of Overseas Surveys as an apprentice cartographer. After the performance, however, King made the choice of becoming a professional musician.


A Yanagisawa A9932J alto saxophone which is very similar to the A9932Z played by Peter King. It has a solid silver bell and neck with solid phosphor bronze body. The bell, neck and key-cups are extensively engraved. Manufactured in 2008
A Yanagisawa A9932J alto saxophone which is very similar to the A9932Z played by Peter King. It has a solid silver bell and neck with solid phosphor bronze body. The bell, neck and key-cups are extensively engraved. Manufactured in 2008

In 1959, at the age of 19, he was booked by Ronnie Scott to perform at the opening of Scott's club in Gerrard Street, London. In the same year he received the Melody Maker New Star award. He worked with Johnny Dankworth's orchestra from 1960–1961, and went on to work with the big bands of Maynard Ferguson, Tubby Hayes, Harry South, and Stan Tracey, the Brussels Big Band, and the Ray Charles band on a European tour.

He has also played in small groups with musicians such as Philly Joe Jones, Zoot Sims, Al Cohn, Red Rodney, Hampton Hawes, Nat Adderley, Al Haig, John Burch, Bill Watrous, and Dick Morrissey, Tony Kinsey, Bill Le Sage and singers such as Jimmy Witherspoon, Joe Williams, Jon Hendricks, and Anita O'Day. King appeared on the soundtrack of the 1969 film The Italian Job.[1] He is a member of Charlie Watts' Tentet.

In 2005 he recorded the album Janus[2] with the Lyric String Quartet, a work influenced by the music of Bartok and commissioned by Appleby Jazz Festival organiser Neil Ferber with funding from BBC Radio3. In 2005 Peter King won the BBC 'Musician of the Year' award.

King has made appearances on albums by the pop group Everything But The Girl and on North Marine Drive by Ben Watt, who was a member of the group.

In 2012, King appeared in the documentary film, No One But Me, discussing jazz musician Annie Ross.[3] He appeared in the movies Blue Ice and The Talented Mr. Ripley. In April 2011 he published his autobiography Flying High.

He is also a leading figure in the international aero-modelling world. He has competed successfully in major competitions and has written extensively about the subject. Among his other strong interests has been Formula One motor racing and his album Tamburello contains a three-part composition which presents a deeply felt tribute to the late Ayrton Senna.

Peter King plays a monthly residency at the 606 Jazz Club in Chelsea[4]


For other bands


  1. ^ "Quincy Jones – The Italian Job". Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  2. ^ John Fordham, "Peter King Quartet, Janus" (review), The Guardian, 8 December 2006.
  3. ^ "Peter King", No One But Me website.
  4. ^ [1], 606 Club website.

Further reading

External links

This page was last edited on 29 November 2019, at 04:17
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