Musical Biography

Peter Valentine

Peter Valentine has rarely slowed down as a professional singer, keyboardist, songwriter and arranger since he shot out of the gate from college, landing his first North American tour with the great Indian violinist L. Shankar, who had just released his first album Touch Me There, produced by Frank Zappa.

Peter grew up on Long Island, in a family deeply rooted in faith and education. Throughout his childhood, Peter soaked up all the organ, piano and singing lessons he could, and then picked up guitar, all the while absorbing the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Billy Preston, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, and his favorite soul singer, Aretha Franklin.

Peter attended Stony Brook University, where he received his undergraduate degree in music performance and composition. "It was there I studied with Bülent Arel and pianist Danny Deutsch - two incredible composers. I mean, Frank Zappa had credited Arel as a MAJOR influence on his music, and there I was studying with him. We went deep into Bach, Stravinsky, Debussy, Ravel, and Gottshalk. I was also studying Gershwin and diving into the great jazz compositions of Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and their contemporaries. I was knee-deep in so many kinds of music." Peter won two Gershwin Piano competitions performing Rhapsody in Blue and within a short time he became an in-demand session musician/singer, performing on numerous national commercials.

Peter Valentine performing in Russia with Sasha Rosenbaum

After graduation, Peter performed in NYC with the likes of Tony Bennett, Darlene Love, Patti Labelle, Rickie Lee Jones, Phoebe Snow, David Broza, Desmond Child, Pat Benatar, Yma Sumac, Carly Simon, Pete Seeger and many others; sometimes in live venues, or on national TV shows like "Late Night with Conan", "Regis & Kathy Lee", and "Good Morning America". Peter also toured with rocker Bill Chinnock, Russian superstar Alexander Rosenbaum, and German opera tenor Peter Hofmann.

Peter Valentine performing with Carly Simon While in NYC, he started his own band with his long-time collaborators Jim Gately and Jon Albrink. The group appeared regularly at "Preacher’s Café" on Bleecker Street. Songs he wrote with Albrink and Gately (under the name of Twenty Seven Heavens) included The Way I Feel, which sold over 600,000 copies in Brazil on the Global/Som Livre label. Peter co-wrote the gospel-infused Calling All Dreamers with Preacher’s regular Don Rosler, and went on to write Drop on By and Under the Illusion that also were placed on best-selling Som Livre soundtracks. Peter and Rosler also wrote To Whom It May Concern, which became the title track to the RIFF album on EMI, produced by gospel great Fred Hammond.

Peter has also done plenty of theater and musicals. On Broadway, he not only played keyboard and trumpet in The News, but he also sang and danced. He was the musical director for the first national tour of Footloose, and after that tour, he joined the national tour of Rent.

In 2014, Peter decided it was about time to write his own album. His brother, Tim Valentine, had just returned from a second tour in Iraq, having served as a chaplain for the US army. He was inspired by his experience in war and our need for God’s grace. The two decided to team up and wrote First Things First to be, first and foremost, a meaningful, uplifting album, one that would inspire listeners through positive, inclusive spiritual music. In other words, an album that pretty much captures what Peter Valentine has been about since day one.

Peter Valentine performing music from his new album