Geoff Peters Trio rocks Vancouver jazz scene
July 24, 2009
Geoff Peters Trio plays to the swank and sophistication of Vancouver's downtown corporate crowd when office hours are over.
It's Tuesday night, in the spring, at the Cactus Club Cafe on West Vancouver's Main Street. The band's namesake pianist, a drummer and bassist assemble their equipment. The suits trickle in. The wine trickles out.
Peters says he loves a good piano. His newest album, Quiet Night, was performed on the finest: a Steinway grand. He often tries to find his way to the Four Seasons Hotel; it has a spunky, little Yamaha he likes to touch.
"We have played there probably 30 times," Peters says.
The two instruments are altogether different but equally respected to the classically trained musician. His music is the same way: never a waltz, bossa nova, lounge or latin and, yet, all of those -- even a hint of rock.
"The style of music allows me to be creative and express myself," he explains.
It's the reason clubs like the Cactus turn to him to set a distinct atmosphere. It's the reason his summer is booked solid with venues, private events and celebrations. Peters played the Vancouver International Jazz Festival. He's banking gigs and attracting attention from the industry. He's 28.
Classical guitarist Derek Soros says Peters provides "silky, smooth piano sounds reminiscent of Bill Evans."
"I used to have sheet music for all the songs but now I have our whole repertoire memorized," Peters says. "I can play four-hour gigs without looking at any paper."
That drummer stationed behind Peters is Greg Murray. His beats and rattles were plucked from the local indie rock scene. But he's been playing jazz for 25 years. He always straddles the boundary between the two genres.
"The less we rely on reading the sheet music, the better we play," he says. "We can pay more attention to one another without the distraction of the written chart. Better focus and interaction allows us to stray from the traditional version of the song further than we normally could, allowing us to come up with something more unique, new and exciting."
Mark White, the bassist, is self-taught. He gives the group its soul.
Peters says White has a good ear.
The Trio recently released a new album, Quiet Night, on iTunes. The title track is also the group's first video. Aside from the studio, the boys regularly play intimate venues around the city. And they still do the occasional wedding or corporate event.
Fans can visit gpeters.com for information on where to find -- and how to book -- Geoff Peters Trio.