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Peter Saltzman


It started at age 4, seated at the piano. A single note that moved and morphed through the years, becoming Peter’s unique musical language. His organic fusion of qualities—the distinctiveness and improvisation of jazz, the soul of blues, and the compositional technique of Bach, Beethoven, and other classical composers—led to an emergence of new sounds, a new feel, a new purpose.

Peter’s broad career in the music industry as composer, pianist, singer-songwriter, and entrepreneur started as a budding teenage jazz musician in Chicago. He studied jazz at the Bloom School of Jazz (Chicago, IL), majored in jazz at Indiana University (Bloomington, IN), and majored in composition and piano at Eastman School of Music (Rochester NY). Later, he studied film scoring at UCLA-Extension (Los Angeles, CA).

In 2016, Peter’s music hit a major turning point. He developed a hybrid platform—an album-ebook—to showcase his latest musical endeavor within his memoir. Blues, Preludes & Feuds, A Musical Memory is a seamless blend of original solo piano music and story with deep technology-art interactions. The music skillfully wends around the narrative, telling the story in its own way. The memoir is a funny, reflective tale of growing up in the politically charged times of 1960s Chicago as Peter journeys to discover his musical language.

Over his career, Peter’s prolific musical work has run the gamut—solo piano, orchestral, chamber, theatrical/film, choral, pop. Various ensembles have performed and recorded his work globally—the Czech National Symphony Orchestra recorded his orchestral dance suite “Walls” (1996), and the Dallas Black Dance Theater performed “Walls” during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

Peter’s concert work is published by Oxford University Press; his film and television work is published by Wild Whirled Music. His music has been licensed for television shows, jingles, and industrials, including My Name is Earl (NBC, 2006).

In the mid-to-late 90s, Peter led the Revolution Ensemble, a group that broke new ground with its adventurous mix of jazz, classical, Latin, and pop genres.Since 2001, he has headed the Peter Saltzman Band as lead singer, pianist, songwriter/arranger—and produced CDs/demos for Chicago-area artists.

From 2006 to 2014, Peter was an adjunct professor of music at the Columbia College Chicago, where he developed and taught a series of courses entitled “Technology for Musicians” and taught piano and theory.

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"Easily one of the very best piano releases of the last 30 years" — Mark S. Tucker, VERITAS VAMPIRUS #1,252: CD Reviews 

"Just plain genius"— Geannine Reid, All About Jazz

"In Saltzman’s hands, it can also sound like a symphony."— Mike Greenblatt, The Aquarian (November 16, 2016)

"Refreshingly Unique"— Grady Harp, amazon.com Hall of Fame Top 100 Reviewer

"Protean"—Chris Spector Midwest Record

"Uniquely Wonderful"—Dame Ethel, App Store

“...the man is a terrific pianist and the ideas are refreshingly unique.”
*****Amazon Top 100 Writer

"...ambitious, richly layered, wonderfully accessible.
-Chicago Sun-Times

“a beautiful marriage of jazz, classical and pop”
–Chicago Jazz Magazine

“muscular playing and ingenious compositions”
–Chicago Reader

“this solitary knight, armed only with his piano...wins our support for his cause.”
–Windy City Times

“a great story about an artist who one day discovers the power he has to create is so strong he may break the barriers of time and space through his work.”
–Theatreworld Internet Magazine

“Jaws drop when Saltzman sits at the piano and plays.”

“he's really a great jazz pianist”

" Distinctive...memorable..."
—Wynne Delacoma, Chicago Sun-Times

“ I’ll start with the obvious...is a brilliant musician, the type who’s virtuosity and daring would be intimidating, ifit weren’t delivered so effortlessly...His musical virtuosity never fails to astound.”
—Chicago Theatre Review

“powerful stuff”
—Dallas Morning News

“Ambitious, richly layered, wonderfully accessible”
—Chicago Sun-Times

“Imaginative . . . brilliant”
-Chicago Tribune

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Programs and Repertoire

Artist Website

Issue #3: Latest news from Peter Saltzman...
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Issue #3: November 25, 2016
The Latest News From Peter Saltzman

More Great Reviews, App Sale, and a Brand New Facebook Live Series!

In this issue:

Quick Favor...
Year-End App Sale
Facebook Live Series
Live Show Trailer
Great Reviews
Hire Me!

Hi All,

I hope you survived Thanksgiving and, well, the election...

At least there's plenty of good news here. I continue to garner superb reviews for my app/album/memoir, Blues, Preludes & Feuds, and I've got a really exciting new live streaming series coming up. Plus there's a sale on the app...read on.

Wishing you Happy Holidays and a wonderful New Year, in spite of...never mind.

Quick Favor...

I have a quick favor to ask: please go to the terrific All About Jazz review and click "Recommend" at the top of the article. Your click will help me immensely in year-end listings. (While you're there, feel free to read the review.) Appreciate it!!

Year-End App Sale

For a limited time I'm offering my app, Blues, Preludes & Feuds for half price. Normally $5.99, it's going on sale now for $2.99 in both formats (iOS and universal web app.) So go to the app store if you have an iOS device, or the Web App if you have an Android or Windows device (or would like to read it on a computer). In both cases you'll be able sample plenty of the music and story at no cost. This deal ends when the year ends.

Improvisations on the Ledge

Brand New Facebook Live Series


For the past few months I’ve been putting together a Facebook Live series called Improvisations on the Ledge. The plan is to launch the first episode before the end of the year, possibly as soon as next week. I'm getting really close now…just a few tech details to clean up...any day now...

What exactly is Improvisations on the Ledge? On the most basic level, it’s an ongoing series of thematic live performances from my studio—the very place I recorded Blues, Preludes & Feuds.  

By “thematic” I mean that each episode will have a clear narrative. The first episode, for example, is called Blues for the End of Time. You can interpret that title as my reaction to Trump’s election, but in truth it’s just the name of a track from BPF that will be reappearing here. The first episode, in fact, is a brief exploration of the limitless possibilities of the blues form. I’ll go from a completely free blues, to an updated stride-style blues, to a French-infused blues (French music, not the language) to some rather modernistic blues. In addition to playing, I’ll be talking about the music and what it means to me—the stories hidden inside the music. 

Each episode runs about 30 minutes, and not all will be solo piano. (As soon as I can work out all of the logistics, there will be a band in there…yay!) If you miss the live broadcast, no worries: as you probably know, FB Live broadcasts stay up there in the timeline for future perusal until you remove them. Also, I plan to perform each episode multiple times—until I get them right.

Here are some plans for future episodes:

  1. Improvs on You (audience suggestions)
  2. Blues, Preludes & Feuds (the complete live version of the app with voiceovers, and imagery)
  3. Golden, Not Beholden (unconventional improvs on American songbook standards)
  4. Giant Steps (variations on the Coltrane tune)
  5. Declassified (improvs on classical themes)
  6. Free (barely contained free improvisations)
  7. The Duke of Westonmonk (the music of Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk and Randy Weston)
  8. Patriot Missiles (misguided takes on patriotic songs)
  9. Nowhere, Man (Beatles reimagined)

Feel free to drop me a line on what YOU would like to hear!

In the meantime, stay tuned. Episode one is going to drop at a moment's notice…

New Concert Trailer

Blues, Preludes & Feuds Concert Trailer
Trailer video for the Blues, Preludes & Feuds live show. This short video is meant to give you a taste of the live show, which had its world premiere in Chicago in October. I'm planning to produce a film of the entire show early next year...

More Great Reviews

The Great Blues, Preludes & Feuds Reviews Keep Rolling in...

“Easily one of the very best piano releases of the last 30 years”
This DEFINITELY is going in my Year’s Best of 2016, easily one of the very best piano releases of the last 30 years, interestingly responding to all levels of listening, from the lightest and most easily titillated all the way up to the attentions of master craftsmen long versed in layers and layers of subtlety and outrageous invention. —Mark S. Tucker, VERITAS VAMPIRUS #1,252: CD Reviews (read complete review)

“Just plain genius”
Blues, Preludes & Feuds is a brilliant amalgamation of classical, folk, stride, bebop, gospel, boogie-woogie, free jazz, offering beautiful melodies and just plain genius flowing from one man sitting at the piano. The project is intriguing and a gem in the solo piano lineage. —Geannine Reid, All About Jazz

“In Saltzman’s hands, it can also sound like a symphony.”
Blues, Preludes & Feuds: A Musical Memory Parts 1-4 (Salt Muse, Inc.) by Peter Saltzman is a solo piano CD of many hues. The 28 tracks in 59:28 bespeak a quiet elegance (yet he can light up a fire at even a hint of ostinato). Dude can play the blues. He goes from Bach to improvisation at the drop of a G-clef. Billy Joel once wrote that “the piano it sounds like a carnival.” In Saltzman’s hands, it can also sound like a symphony. —Mike Greenblatt, The Aquarian (November 16, 2016)

“A protean Chicagoan…this is a wild man just waiting for you to fully discover what he can do with a piano that defied genre busting and mash ups. This is certainly a cat you want to know. Well done.” —Chris Spector Midwest Record

“Refreshingly Unique”
“We need to enter his realm, give a listen and step into a new (and very personal) dimension. Give it a try – the man is a terrific pianist and the ideas are refreshingly unique.” *****Five Stars.—Grady Harp, amazon.com Hall of Fame Top 100 Reviewer

“Uniquely Wonderful”
“The author, composer and musician has combined his gifts in this memoir of his life. The story, both poignant and funny, brings his musicality to the pages via words and notes. At the conclusion of each chapter (or beginning of the next chapter) we are left with the gift of an originally composed piece of music that dynamically captures the tone and content of the written word. There’s a magical quality to reading and listening to his story. Peter takes the reader on his journey to discovering and indulging his life’s passion, music, and I should add, his gift with the written word as well.” —Dame Ethel, App Store


Rate the App!

High ratings and positive reviews really help drive downloads, so if you've already experienced the app, please rate it in the app store. You can rate it from either an iOS device or any computer with iTunes. You can also rate (and buy) the album on Amazon, CD Baby and other online locations.

And Finally...

I am available for gigs!

  • For your party, holiday or otherwise.
  • If you are a musician, as a sideman foryour gigs (new demo reel coming soon.)
  • Customized composing and arranging for whatever—from solo piano to symphony orchestra, all produced and recorded in my home studio. (Yes, I have a symphony orchestra at my beck and call—I call him Mac.)
Visit petersaltzman.com  or any of my pages below for all the latest...