Peter Drew

Jazz arranger and composer

Peter passed through many lifetimes until he honed in on a career of music. As a teenager, he joined the high school orchestra but nothing came of it. He then bought a $95 student clarinet, looked at it, blew a few notes and stuck it in a closet where it vegetated for many years.

After a stint in the service and a master’s degree, his diploma should have read, “adrift.” There were myriad jobs, including film distribution, caterer, sailing instructor, cruise ship host, taxi driver, country club manager, video operator. What finally stuck was a career in teaching with a specialty in film and social studies. But something was missing.

That was when he bought a good clarinet and decided to take music seriously. He took lessons. Joined a symphonic band. And dove into the classical and jazz repertoire, studying with Sid Cooper, and Danny Bank both associated with the big bands of Tommy Dorsey, Charlie Barnet and Benny Goodman.

Together with a group of like-minded musicians, he founded the St. Albans Jazz Ensemble performing jazz and pop standards. Before long, studying with the composer Philip Rothman, he began arranging and composing and loving every minute of it.

© 2016 Peter Drew