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12-06-1971 - current




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Peter Beets

Peter Beets (The Hague, 12 June 1971) starts out as one of the three Beets Brothers, but soon makes a name for himself as a piano soloist. He is admired for his virtuoso, lightning fast playing, reminiscent of his idol Oscar Peterson. He develops into an in demand accompanist for ...
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Mentioned in the biography of

1973   Marius Beets
1990   Ferdinand Povel
1997   Rita Reys
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Concerts & Festivals

by Podiuminfo / Festivalinfo

5/23/21, TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht

Biography Peter Beets

Peter Beets (The Hague, 12 June 1971) starts out as one of the three Beets Brothers, but soon makes a name for himself as a piano soloist. He is admired for his virtuoso, lightning fast playing, reminiscent of his idol Oscar Peterson. He develops into an in demand accompanist for singers (Rita Reys, Dee Daniels, Deborah Brown) and instrumentalists (Curtis Fuller, Joe Cohn). Since 1998 he has been the regular pianist of The Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw, which introduces several of his compositions in its repertoire and records a CD with his music. When the brothers Alexander (saxophone), Marius (bass) and Peter Beets have all gone their separate ways, the pianist forms his own Dutch trio, and regularly plays in various formations all over Europe. From 2001 he regularly visits New York to perform with American musician like the bassists Larry Grenadier and Reginald Veal, the drummer Herlin Riley and the guitarist Joe Cohn, both in jazzclubs and to record CDs. He tours the major Dutch theaters with programs linking classical music to jazz, like Van Bach tot Blues (From Bach to Blues) and Chopin Meets the Blues.

Played in

Beets Brothers   piano

1971 - 1984

Shortly after Peter's birth the Beets family moves to Groenlo (in the eastern province of Gelderland). Father Beets is a gynaecologist and a great jazz fan, and Oscar Peterson is his favorite. Mother Beets is a classically trained pianist and qualified voice teacher. Just like his older brothers Marius (1966) and Alexander (1968) Peter Beets takes piano lessons from age six, and also guitar lessons – his personal choice. At the age of seven he participates in a children's song festival, where he accompanies himself on the guitar. He finally opts for the piano when his brother Marius, during the weekly Sunday afternoon sessions at the Beets residence, tells Peter that he strikes his guitar chords too loud, and offers to swap instruments with him. Peter Beets retains enough technique to play bass (and drums) occasionally. Having been taught by his mother for a year he becomes a student of Johan Jansonius, a teacher at the Enschede conservatory. Peter Beets is indebted to him for his technique, wrist action and fingering. Jansonius is a classical teacher; jazz is what Peter Beets plays in his spare time. At the age of eleven he performs at the Kleine Zaal (small hall) of the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, where the radio show Für Elise, presented by Hans Zoet, is broadcast live. The young talent is asked back for five years in a row. In 1984 he makes his TV debut in pianist Pim Jacobs's show Jazz met Jacobs (Jazz with Jacobs).

1985 - 1998

The three Beets siblings start performing in public as The Beets Brothers in 1985. They play around one hundred concerts a year and also record a number of CDs. Having finished grammar school Peter Beets starts studying law at the university, and music at the jazz department of the conservatory, both in Utrecht. After two years he discontinues his law studies; a year later he leaves the conservatory and his teacher, Bert van den Brink. He continues his musical studies at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, where he finds the musical climate more becoming. Until his graduation Frans Elsen is his teacher for five years. In 1988, a year before he embarks upon his conservatory studies, he wins the Pall Mall Export Swing Award (for talented young jazz musicians). In 1989 he is the first winner in the Jazz category of the Prinses Christina Concours (a competition for young musicians). Henk Meutgeert, the leader of the New Concert Big Band, asks Peter Beets to man the piano stool, taking turns with Rob van Bavel.

Bert van den Brink

1999 - 2002

The Beets Brothers break up their intensive collaboration, and they all go their separate ways. The New Concert Big Band is rechristened The Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw, and Peter Beets is its regular pianist. He starts performing in bassist Ruud Jacobs's quartet in a long series of monthly sessions at De Otter in Loosdrecht. Singer Lils Mackintosh asks him to record the album Black Girl with her, earning them an Edison (Dutch Grammy). In 2001 Peter Beets visits New York to record the CD New York Trio for the Dutch jazz label Criss Cross, featuring the American bassist Rodney Whitaker and drummer Willie Jones III. This is the beginning of a tradition: every two years Peter Beets records a Criss Cross CD in New York with an American rhythm section. In the Netherlands and all over Europe Beets performs with his own trio, featuring Frans van Geest on bass and initially Hans Dekker on drums, soon to be replaced by Gijs Dijkhuizen. He tours with the Rosenberg Trio, and also does a tour of Switzerland and Spain with singer Dee Daniels, drummer Alvin Queen and bassist Reggie Johnson. Peter Beets is featured at every edition of the North Sea Jazz Festival with various formations. He teaches at the Zwolle conservatory for six months.

2003 - 2006

Peter Beets does his first theater tour with the program Van Bach tot Blues (From Bach to Blues), later followed by Chopin Meets the Blues (2005). He becomes singer Rita Reys's regular pianist. With Chick Corea he performs as a duo on two grand pianos at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. He presents his trio in the Kleine Zaal (small hall) of the same building. These concerts are recorded and initially only released in Japan. With his trio he tours Poland. It turns out to be such a success that the trio is asked back for years to come. In 2004 Peter Beets visits the US, to perform at the New York jazzclub Birdland. He forms a quartet with gypsy guitarist Dorado Schmitt, guitarist Mayo Hubert and bassist Brian Torff which is presented at the Django Reinhardt N.Y. Festival. Saxophonist James Carter and drummer Winard Harper are featured as special guests during this performance. The concert is later released on DVD. In 2006 Beets is invited by Dorado Schmitt for a concert at the New York Lincoln Center featuring violinist Regina Carter and others. The Peter Beets Trio and singer Izaline Calister perform a Porgy and Bess program in the Dutch theaters, as part of the series Jazz Impuls Double Concerts.

2007 - 2009

Peter Beets shows the influence of South American and Spanish music on jazz in the theater program The Blues goes Latin. In 2008 Beets tours the US with a band led by Dorado Schmitt, featuring guitarist Larry Coryell and saxophonist Harry Allen; they perform in Oakland, Seattle, Boston and other cities. At the initiative of the Jazz Impuls agency the Beets Brothers are reunited for a theater tour featuring alto saxophonist Piet Noordijk. With his colleagues Louis van Dijk, Cor Bakker and Jan Vayne Peter Beets does a successful Dutch theater tour as the Piano Kings. For the final night of the 2009 Haarlem Jazz Festival he is offered the opportunity to assemble a band with American musicians. He invites trombonist Curtis Fuller, drummer Gregory Hutchinson and bassist Reuben Rogers. With the latter two, plus the American guitarist Joe Cohn he makes a CD recording of his theater program Chopin Meets the Blues.


Following leader Henk Meutgeert and guitarist Jesse van Ruller Peter Beets is the third orchestra member to be honored by The Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw with an album featuring his own original compositions. His first composition, First Song, written at the age of seven, is arranged for big band by Rob Horsting. The album, recorded live at the Amsterdam Bimhuis, is presented at the Paradiso, also in the Dutch capital. Peter Beets is of the opinion that his theater program Chopin Meets the Blues never received the attention it deserved in 2005. The presentation of the CD and a number of concerts featuring Gregory Hutchinson, Reuben Rogers and Joe Cohn should be the overture for a new theater tour of the program in June. He also tours the Netherlands with Rita Reys.

Discography Peter Beets

In the discography you will find all recordings that have been released listed chronologically. We restrict ourselves to the title, the type of audio, year of publication or recording, label, list of guest musicians, plus any comments on the issue.

Photos Peter Beets

Audio/Video Peter Beets

Video Peter Beets

Peter Beets Trio feat. Gr...
Peter Beets Trio feat. Greg Hutchinson and Reuben Rogers  "Hymn to Freedom"
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Peter Beets Trio feat. Greg Hutchinson and Reuben Rogers  "Hymn to Freedom"

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