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"New Life is an exquisite and enjoyable recording with a wide appeal that can be savored again and again."
Hrayr Attarian, Chicago Jazz Magazine

Click here to see more reviews.

The debut recording of the Peter Leitch New Life Orchestra, New Life, has been released! The 2-CD set of mostly Peter Leitch original music is meant to bring the listener into a jazz club atmosphere--two sets, two CDs. You can leave after one set--but you won't want to! With this release, Peter celebrates the time given to him by his successful treatment for stage 4 lung cancer. Although he can no longer play the guitar, he has channeled his creativity into composing, orchestrating and directing this wonderful 14-piece orchestra! Enjoy

Peter Leitch is a New York based composer, orchestrator and leader of the Peter Leitch New Life Orchestra. The former critically acclaimed guitarist has performed in such popular rooms as Club 75, Sweet Basil, Sweet Rhythm, Jazz Standard, Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, The Blue Note, Bradley's, Zinno, Visiones and Birdland and has placed several times in the DownBeat International Jazz Critics Poll. He has been profiled in numerous magazine articles.

A tour favorite, Peter and his groups have appeared at festivals and clubs in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Australia. Versatile in a broad range of jazz artistry, he has worked/recorded with some of his profession's greatest performers: Oscar Peterson, Ron Carter, Milt Jackson, Woody Shaw, Pepper Adams, Jaki Byard, Jack McDuff, Kenny Wheeler, Al Grey, and John Hicks.

Peter is also an accomplished black and white photographer and has mounted several solo shows of his work, including of fellow musicians, New York street scenes, Mississippi and the South, and the newest New York to New Orleans. In addition, he has co-created several videos for which he has composed music. This has led to an exploration of new (and old) areas of music. Click on the icons above to see!

In 1997, Peter initiated his Sunday Nights at Walker's, one of New York City's longest running jazz engagements. Each weekly engagement featured a duo performance with a guest artist. Gary Bartz, Ray Drummond, Bobby Watson, Sean Smith, Harvie S, Dwayne Burno, Steve Wilson, Jed Levy and Charles Davis have all shared Sunday's spotlight in this enduring jazz tradition.

During 1993-94, Peter was the Musical Director of "Guitars Play Mingus," the 5-guitar and rhythm section ensemble performing the music of Charles Mingus.

In 1991, Peter was artist-in-residence at Western Australia Academy of the Performing Arts, Perth and Elder Conservatorium, Adelaide.

Peter has been an adjunct professor at Long Island University and has taught at the National Guitar Workshop and the Vermont Jazz Center, the Summer Guitar Workshop at New York University and the Berkeley College of Music. He conducts workshops, master classes and clinics in jazz guitar and improvisation in the United States, Europe, Canada and Australia.

Peter's recordings are available on the Jazz House Reservoir, Concord and Criss Cross Jazz labels (see Discography).

The Peter Leitch New Life Orchestra is available for bookings.

Peter Leitch Composing and Arranging

Peter Leitch Celebrates New Life With the Release of the First New Life Orchestra Recording

The debut recording of the Peter Leitch New Life Orchestra, New Life, has been released! The 2-CD set of mostly Peter Leitch original music is meant to bring the listener into a jazz club atmosphere--two sets, two CDs. You can leave after one set--but you won't want to! With this release, Peter celebrates the time given to him by his successful treatment for stage 4 lung cancer. Although he can no longer play the guitar, he has channeled his creativity into composing, orchestrating and directing this wonderful 14-piece orchestra! Enjoy

Additional Program notes for the New Life Orchestra

Disc One

  1. Mood For Max. This piece is dedicated to Dr. Maxim Kreditor, the brilliant oncologist who treated me for cancer. Featured soloists are Bill Mobley, Steve Wilson and Peter Zak.
  2. Portrait Of Sylvia. For the love of my life, my wonderful wife Sylvia Levine. This was composed many years ago when we first met. The piece has continued to evolve over the years, like our relationship. Solos by Duane Eubanks and the great British guitarist Phil Robson.
  3. Sorta, Kinda. Neither one thing nor the other, but a kind of stretched out blues form featuring Phil Robson, Steve Wilson and Duane Eubanks.
  4. Monk's Circle. Composed on the occasion of the official renaming of the cul-de-sac at the western end of W. 63 Street (where the Monk family resided for years) to "Thelonious Sphere Monk Circle" in 1983.
  5. Round Midnight. A return to its composer's original structure, after hearing so many "deconstructions" of this beautiful piece of music over the years. Featured are Duane Eubanks and Phil Robson.
  6. Penumbra. In visual art, the line that divides light and shadow. Soloists: Jed Levy and Phil Robson.
  7. Brilliant Blue, Twilight Blue. This is about the changing colors of the sky, with its shifting rhythms and changing tempos. Solos by Matt Haviland, Tim Harrison and Steve Wilson.
  8. Fulton Street Suite. 19th century lower Manhattan in three parts. Prelude: The mystique with its ancient streets; the beginnings of the Broadway stage in Joe Strasser's drum solo " Theater Alley"; and the fast Blues: the ups and downs of the financial markets that made New York "The capital of the 20th century." Solos by Phil Robson, Steve Wilson, Jed Levy and Peter Zak.

Disc Two
  1. Exhilaration. Arriving in New York, 1982. The city of my dreams. In a manic phase, I felt as if I owned everything - the concrete, glass and steel, the crowded filthy crater-pocked streets. And above all, the music! Solos by Bill Mobley, Jed Levy, Peter Zak and Duane Eubanks.
  2. Elevanses. Wordplay reconciling the ear and the eye. A nod to Gil Evans and Walker Evans. Also a mid- morning coffee break. This is a feature for Steve Wilson.
  3. Clifford Jordan. A tribute to one of my favorite saxophone players and composers. Featured are Jed Levy on tenor and Carl Maraghi on baritone.
  4. Ballad for Charles Davis. "I'm not a baritone player. I'm not a tenor player. I'm a saxophone player." So said the great Charles Davis. Playing with Charles was like playing with the entire history of Black American music. Jed Levy and Phil Robson deliver concise moving statements.
  5. The Minister's Son. Jed Levy's remembrance of the late great pianist John Hicks. I arranged it as kind of a concerto for Jed's tenor saxophone with brass.
  6. Spring Is Here. A beautiful example of the American ballad form from Rodgers and Hart, slightly reharmonized, with a suggestion of South America in its rhythms. Peter Zak is featured, along with pertinent comments from Phil Robson.
  7. Back Story. Everything has a "back story." In the case of music, the "back story" is the Blues, Black America's contribution to the world's music. Its inflections have seeped into everything we hear. This is a traditional slow blues featuring some "greasy" work by our trombonists Max Siegel on bass trombone, and Matt Haviland on tenor trombone.
  8. Tutwiler 2001. A small town in Tallahatchie county , Mississippi, as it appeared in 2001, before the state finally formally recognized its own deep musical tradition. At this point in time it was a place of extreme poverty and desolation. In 1955 it was where Emmet Till's body was prepared for burial. Yet it had a rich history -- it was a railroad town which was one of the major points of departure in the great migration north. It was where W.C. Handy first heard the blues, performed by a lone singer/guitarist on the station platform, using a knife blade on the strings.
  9. The Long Walk Home. Another version of the old twelve bar -- a basic "big band" sounding chart, which features just about everyone. Of particular interest is Chad Coe's great Freddie Green styled rhythm guitar, performed on an original 1940s D'Angelico guitar. Well, you've left your wallet at home, and spent all your cash at the bar: Start walking!

Peter Leitch
By Ken Dryden,
The New York City Jazz Record

After several decades of building an impressive discography as a guitarist, leader and composer, Peter Leitch nearly lost his life in a battle with lung cancer diagnosed five years ago. Now in remission, Leitch is upbeat and productive, though he no longer can play the guitar. “I’ve been off chemo for almost three years, but I’m still experiencing after-effects. I didn’t have surgery, but a lot of chemo and radiation. They think that the radiation damaged the nerve plexus and prevented me from using my left arm and playing the guitar, though my fingers still work. I’m still doing physical therapy, which is progressing very slowly.”

A native of Montréal, Leitch came to jazz in several ways. “I became exposed to the music through radio and television, then there were several jazz clubs in the early ‘60s bringing in a lot of people from New York. I got to hear most of the great players: Miles, Monk and Coltrane. It was inspiring to hear them live. I didn’t have formal instruction in school, but I took private lessons with guitar teachers. I hung out with several jazz guitarists and they taught me. I had all of these great teachers on records: Wes Montgomery, Jim Hall and Kenny Burrell. I came down to New York one time to have a lesson with Jim Hall. I spent the afternoon with him and he gave me enough to work on and think about for years to come.”

Moving to New York City, Leitch found regular work, including stints with several major artists. He played alongside saxophonist Jed Levy, who became a good friend and frequent collaborator; they played together in Brother Jack McDuff’s band and Jaki Byard’s Apollo Stompers. He began recording frequently as a leader in the ‘80s, first for Criss Cross then Concord Jazz and Reservoir throughout the ‘90s. Leitch also wrote liner notes for his CDs and those by other artists, in addition to honing skills as a photographer.

While illness curtailed his performing career, once his recovery was underway, Leitch found that his interest in music was still strong. “At my age [74], I considered myself retired from the music business. I couldn’t play anymore. But I couldn’t get rid of this urge to be involved in music and it seemed to me that the only way I could do it was to start writing. I wrote a few things and wanted to hear what they sounded like, set up a rehearsal and it went from there. Suddenly I found myself being a bandleader, which I didn’t expect to happen.” The result is his New Life Orchestra.

Leitch’s composition process may take several different paths. “I can find a fragment, melodic line or bass line. It might not go anywhere and sit, then suddenly I’ll go back to it and develop it into something. Other times a piece will seem to write itself in a couple of hours. With this bigger band, I’ve taken a couple of earlier pieces that I composed for record dates with smaller groups and expanded the arrangement for this 12-piece band. Some are new, specifically written for this band. Most of it is original music, though I have taken a couple of standard pieces, for example ‘‘Round Midnight’, which was the first piece I arranged for this group, because I thought I would start with a piece of music that I knew really well.”

One of things that sets Leitch’s ensemble apart from groups of similar size is the instrumentation. “Some of the pieces were written with recording in mind because it is a different setup than the standard big band. I’m using some combinations of instruments that aren’t necessarily self-balancing like sax, trumpet and trombone sections. I’m using mixed combinations of instruments in the orchestrations, which gives it a different sound. Being a guitarist, I started writing several pieces that were guitar features, because I don’t hear a lot of that kind of writing for guitar, in terms of integrating it into a larger ensemble with horns. Since I’m no longer an improvising instrumentalist, I’ve been thinking about music in a different way, in terms of thinking orchestrally. I do miss the in-the-moment aspect of being an improvising musician. I have to remember that when writing and leave a lot of space for some of the great soloists we’ve got in this band. Guitarist Phil Robson is from the U.K.. I am really knocked out with his playing. He’s much better known in Europe. I consider myself fortunate to have Steve Wilson in this band, he’s been one of my favorite alto players for years. We’ve played duets together a few times.” Trumpeter Bill Mobley, a noted composer/ arranger himself and a part of Leitch’s band, said, “I’m looking forward to Peter’s upcoming concert. His original melodies range from hauntingly beautiful to classically inventive to playful. His orchestration also has a wide range of colors and textures, from dense and dissonant to light, airy and contrapuntal. His stuff is fun and challenging for the musician but more fun for the listener to take all this in.” Another member, pianist Peter Zak, shared his thoughts: “The Peter Leitch band has been a good experience. The music is unique and has a lot of space in it for soloing and interaction and always swings or grooves. Peter’s orchestrations for a medium-sized group have a personal stamp on them, in particular with choice of instruments, such as multiple flutes combined with guitar.”

Leitch has been pleased with the band’s progress and is looking forward to their official live debut this month. He is proud of the hard work of his musicians. “I’m hoping that this band can get recorded, but I’m not holding my breath with the state of the music business as it is now. I have some rough home recordings of rehearsals, which I’m using to rip apart and rewrite things. We have about 15 pieces of music so far and we’re trying to concentrate on honing these rather than keep adding new material.”

Peter Leitch has hung up his guitar—career-ending nerve damage following successful treatment for a serious illness has caused Peter to refocus his musical energies on composing and arranging. The result: the Peter Leitch New Life Orchestra, a 14-piece band of some of New York’s finest first-call artists performing Peter Leitch’s own compositions and arrangements of a small selection of other pieces.

Some familiar names in the band include: altoist Steve Wilson, pianist Peter Zak, trumpeters Duane Eubanks and Bill Mobley, tenor saxman Jed Levy---everyone is great!


Here is a selection:

You can add some select tracks to the audio player to give a listen. If you like what you hear, check out the album. Most can be ordered from City Hall Records through this link. City Hall Records

California Concert
Peter Leitch

Peter Leitch Acoustic & Electric Guitars
John Hicks - Piano
David Williams - Bass
Billy Higgins - Drums

Jazz House

Peter Leitch Acoustic & Electric Guitars

Reservoir Records

Peter Leitch - Guitar
Jed Levy - Tenor Saxophone, Flute
George Cables - Piano
Dwayne Burno - Bass
Steve Johns - Drums


Peter Leitch - Guitar
Gary Bartz - Alto & Soprano Saxophones

Reservoir Music - 160

Peter Leitch - Guitar
Dwayne Burno - Bass
Renee Rosnes - Piano
Billy Hart - Drums
Bobby Watson - Saxophones
Kendra Shank - Vocals

Reservoir Music - 149

Peter Leitch - Guitar
Sean Smith - Bass
Marvin "Smitty" Smith - Drums

Reservoir Music - 140

Peter Leitch - Guitar
Claudio Roditi - Trumpet
John Hicks - Piano
Gary Bartz - Saxophone
Jed Levy - Saxophone
Rufus Reid - Bass
Marvin Smitty Smith - Drums

Reservoir Music - 134

Peter Leitch - Guitar
John Hicks - Piano

Reservoir Music - 129

Peter Leitch - Guitar
John Hicks - Piano
Ray Drummond - Bass
Marvin "Smitty"
Smith - Drums

Criss Cross - 1026

Peter Leitch - Guitar
Neil Swainson - Bass
Mickey Roker - Drums

My Calendar

This is what is going on this month.


"Emotional, inspiring, and very satisfying...rings clear and true through 17 wide ranging compositions on 2 CDs. The performances have the feeling of a captivating live date, the musicians breathing life and fire into every track."
Ken Micallef, Jazz Times

"Leitch's originals teem with fresh combinations of sounds and colors... the recording quality here is superb."
Nelson Brill, Boston Concert Reviews

"An ambitious 2 disc set...Exciting new music... The charts are modern, yet accessible and always optimistic."
George W. Harris, Jazz Weekly

"Fantastic writing and orchestration...The effort features some absolutely stellar talents on their respective instruments."
The Jazz Page On line music reviews.

"Endless creativity... His original melodies range from hauntingly beautiful to classically inventive to playful...his orchestrations also have a wide range of colors and textures."
Keys And Chords on line music magazine.

"Leitch's use of the orchestra is brilliant...excellent trumpet, saxophone and piano solos.. British Phil Robson on electric guitar... Suitable for those interested in contemporary jazz as well as traditional jazz."
Elliot Marlow-Stevens, Jazz Journal (UK)

"The music swings confidently with a vibrant and positive energy...this band of musicians performs the music with real commitment. There are so many compelling solos from everyone involved. Guitarist Phil Robson is on superb form..Split into two CDs to correspond to two club sets..."
Adam Sieff, London Jazz News. (UK)

"Breathing new life into the 'raw materials' of the music...One of the top jazz recordings of the past year."
Lesley Mitchell-Clarke, The Whole Note. (Canada)

Older Reviews

"His music swings with intensity, logic and inventiveness."
Ken Franckling, JazzTimes

"Leitch has been making finely crafted albums with an ever increasing cast for over a decade. This is his best yet (Colours & Dimensions)...septet originals, all richly orchestrated and each utterly memorable."
George Kanzler, Newark Star Ledger

"Leitch's signature remains his warm-toned, saxophonic single note lines which he spins with fluidity, harmonic sophistication and driving swing."
Bill Milkowski, JazzTimes

"His warm, singing lines...have both a melodic grace and a rhythmic strength."
John S. Wilson, New York Times

"Leitch plays with bite, drive, and refreshing intelligence...a concern for structure and rhythmic vitality."
The New Yorker

"Peter Leitch has been turning out consistently tasty, relentlessly swinging straightahead jazz albums for 12 years...marked by fluid phrasing, rhythmic drive, romantic lyricisim..."
Guitar Player

"Pumping out a steady flow of top-flight jazz albums...his works has been remarkably unpredictable and always fresh."
The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD, LP and Cassette


Cadence Magazine - Peter Leitch interview with Bob Rusch, 1983
Coda Magazine - Peter Leitch interview with Bill Smith, 1987
Down Beat Magazine - Peter Leitch profile, 1987
Jazz Times Magazine - Article "The Widening World of Peter Leitch," 1989
Jazz Times - Article - "Peter Leitch's Many Faceted Swing" 1994
Cuademos de Jazz (Spain) - Peter Leitch interview with Don Hillegas, 1995
Down Beat - Article - "Compatibility and Chemistry," 1998
Stacatto Magazine (Germany) - Article, 1998
Hot House Magazine - Peter Leitch profile, 2003
Jazz Improv Magazine - Peter Leitch interview, 2004
Jazz Times - Article "Picking and Clicking" 2007
Journal of the New Jersey Jazz Society - Interview, 2010

Entries in:

The Great Guitarists: The Ultimate Guide, 2013
The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz, Leonard Feather & Ira Gitler, Oxford University Press, 1999
The Encyclopedia of Music in Canada
Masters of Jazz Guitar, Charles Alexander, Miller Freeman Books, 1999 (UK)
The Jazz Guitar, Maurice J. Summerfield, Ashley Mark Publishing, 1998 (UK)
The Miller Companion to Jazz in Canada, Mark Miller, The Mercury Press, 2003


New Trio Studio Recording from
Peter Leitch on His Jazz House Label
Available Now

Landscape, the fifth release on the artist-owned Jazz House label, comes hot on the heels of Leitch’s best-selling memoir Off the Books: A Jazz Life and his well-received live recording from last year, California Concert. This is mature music that goes beyond common virtuosity or sound bites, paying tribute to the cultures that spawned the artistic landscape of the American century. Listeners will hear his nods to vaudeville (Louise), the Irish American experience (Danny Boy), and the southern roots of the Black American experience (Tutwiler—named for the place where legend has it John Hammond first heard the blues and where civil rights martyr Emmet Till’s body was prepared for burial), as well as music from within the jazz tradition, Leitch originals and compositions by contemporaries.

- - - -

California Concert Released
on Guitarist Peter Leitch’s Jazz House Label

California Concert, the fourth release on the artist-owned Jazz House label, captures the Peter Leitch Quartet in an incredibly strong live performance at California State University, Fresno.
Peter’s bandmates for this concert include his friend and long-time musical associate pianist John Hicks, New York bassist David Williams, and jazz legend Billy Higgins on drums. This very fortuitous coming together of musical minds is made more ephemeral through the knowledge that with the passing of Hicks and Higgins, it was an occasion that will never be repeated. "I remember this concert as being was one of the great musical experiences of my life," Peter said of the concert. "Fortunately, someone had the foresight to record it."
The potent chemistry among these four veterans is palpable from the opening bars of Bird’s “Relaxin’ at Camarillo” to Peter’s own tribute to a mentor, “A Blues for Ivan Symonds. The full-set recording also features Hicks’s classic “After the Morning,” their friend Walter Booker’s “Book’s Bossa,” the Strayhorn-Ellington favorite “Isfahan,” and a piano-guitar medley of Ellington’s “In a Sentimental Mood” and “Warm Valley.”
The recording was made by an avid fan and Peter took it to master engineer Allan Tucker in New York to try to clean up the audio to make the concert set releasable. The result is a labor of love—great music played full out (no tune is under nine minutes)—well worth the listener’s time. Liner notes by the late bassist Dwayne Burno, who worked and recorded with the guitarist.

- - - -

Off the Books:
A Jazz Life

Peter Leitch’s memoir Off the Books: A Jazz Life by Vehicule Press in Montreal recounts the in vivid detail a life lived in search of excellence in music and art, learning his craft on the bandstand in the days before jazz education, while battling depression and drug addiction. His depiction of the Montreal of his youth reveals a long-gone vibrant club scene in that city. Peter’s moves, first to Toronto in 1977 and then to his present home , New York City, in 1982 are also recounted in detail. There is a great deal of humor in some of his recollections and observations, and more than a few hard truths leavened with bits of absurdist fantasy.
A launch party was held in September for the CD and book at Walker’s in TriBeCa, home of Peter Leitch’s long-running Sunday night duo gig.

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Photo Show,
Nocturne: The City at Night

Peter's Nocturne: The City at Night runs August 26–October 17, at the Living Room Gallery at Saint Peter's Church, Lexington and 54th Street, in Manhattan. Opening reception: September 12, 6 p.m.-8 p.m.

Influenced and inspired by Film Noir, Edward Hopper's nighttime tableaux, and the strong rich blacks used by cartoonist Chester Gould to portray the urban landscape in "Dick Tracy," these photographs celebrate different facets of New York at night. Here are the busy streets and garish bright lights of midtown; the vestiges of Walter Winchell's Broadway; its mythic skyscrapers and iconic bridges, symbolizing the triumph of the human spirit over the forces of darkness; and the lonely city with its quiet empty spaces.

The working milieu of the jazz musician is the night, and during a long career as a professional musician Peter Leitch has lived a large part of his working and waking hours at night, and has seen the city and its people in its many nocturnal guises and disguises. Hopefully these photographs will suggest to the viewer their own imagined narratives and non-verbal sensations, moods and atmospheres.

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The Great Jazz Guitarists:
The Ultimate Guide

See the full entry for Peter in the new book The Great Jazz Guitarists: The Ultimate Guide by Scott Yanow, published by Backbeat Books. The author says of Leitch's recorded work:"All of Peter Leitch's recordings are excellent, for he always stays true to himself."

Watch this space for news of Peter's forthcoming memoir Off the Books: A Jazz Life, Vehicule Press, and the release of his CD California Concert, the live recording of a full set of great music from 1999 with Peter on guitar, John Hicks, piano, David Williams, bass, and Billy HIggins, drums.

- - - -

Photo Exhibition: "A View from the Bandstand,"
April 2-June 1, 2012. WGBO Gallery, 54 Park Place, Newark, NJ.

Peter has photographed his musical friends, colleagues and heroes at work on the bandstand and in the studio. His photographs capture not only the musicians, in tones of rich, deep black and brilliant white, but also suggest the sound of the music. He says: "Jazz and photography are both arts of the moment. With these photographs I'm trying to show musicians deeply involved with music." The exhibit is dedicated to the memory of those artists who are no longer with us, but whose music lives on and continues to inspire.

Reception: April 12, 6-8pm. Peter Leitch/Ray Drummond Duo performs.

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The short film "Tango Noir"

Directed by Peter Leitch and Pamela Timmins, with original music by Peter will be screened at the Big Apple Film Festival (Tribeca Cinemas, corner Canal & Varick) on Friday, Nov. 6, at 6:00 pm.

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Photo Exhibition: "A Landscape for the Blues," January 4 - March 26, Colvard Student Union Art Gallery, Mississippi State University. Starkville, MS.

A visual investigation of the topographical and social landscape of the regions that produced the blues and jazz, America's indigenous musical art forms. An original soundtrack plays continuously during the exhibit.

Opening Reception: January 19, 5:00pm - 7:00pm

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SoHo Photo Gallery Presents
Peter Leitch - New York to New Orleans
July 7 - August 8, 2009
Opening Reception: Tuesday, July 7, 6 - 8 pm

15 White Street
New York, NY 10013

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Peter is pleased to be Musical Director for the May 29th program of The Art of the Duo part II, the last in the three-part Lost Jazz Shrine Series Celebrating Bradley's. Peter will perform with fellow Bradley's veterans Bobby Watson, George Cables, Dwayne Burno and Peter Bernstein and will participate in the panel pefore the concert: panel moderated by Willard Jenkins is at 7 (including some video footage of music at Bradley's), concert at 8:30. Events are at BMCC's Tribeca Performing Arts Center, 199 Chambers Street, New York: tribecapac.org for mor info.

Peter Leitch Is Now Accepting Students in Jazz Guitar/Improvisation.
Click here for more information (pdf).

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Check out Peter's new videos on YouTube and Jazzcorner's JazzVision channel!
Peter's collaboration with video artist Pamela Timmins "Urban Fantasy" was screened at two New York film festivals and their collaboration has produced several new videos. Check them out on YouTube and JazzVision.

Peter's Sunday night duo gig at Walker's in New York City's TriBeCa region has been documented on DVD. A selection from footage of several years' performances was compiled by Ms. Timmins and is now available from the artists. "The Walker’s Duets" received a great review in a recent issue of Jazz Times.

Peter has released his first solo CD, Self Portrait (Jazz House 7003). You can to purchase it from him through this site.

- - - -

Peter's tune "JLM" (written for Wes Montgomery) was on Showtime's "The Hoop Life."
Peter now endorses Hofner guitars as well as Polytone amplifiers.
Peter has taped an interview for the Canadian Museum of Civilization.The video interview is part of the museum's permanent display. It is presently on loan to the Centre d'histoire de Montreal for its "Jazz--Swinging Nights in Montreal" exhibit on the history of Jazz in Montreal. The exhibit will leave Montreal at the end of November and be displayed in various museums across Canada.

  • Member of the jazz faculty at Domaine Forget, the prestigious, international music and dance camp in Quebec since 1989.

  • IAJE member - IAJE Convention Clinician

  • Peter Leitch has been a member of the New York Jazz Guitar Ensemble and was the Music Director of "Guitars Play Mingus" - a five guitar and rhythm section ensemble. That played the music of Charles Mingus.

  • Peter has conducted clinics, workshops and Master Classes in jazz guitar and improvisation in the U.S., Europe, Canada and Australia.

  • He has been an artist-in-residence at the Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts in Perth and Elder Conservatorium in Adelaide, Australia, as well as at City Stages Jazz Camp in Birmingham, Alabama, the Vermont Jazz Center and many others.


Peter Leitch's Guitar Ensemble Arrangements are created on Finale and are laser printed for optimum readability. Charts are $30 each or $25 each for 4 or more plus $1 postage per arrangement. They include score and parts. Payment: Check drawn on U.S. bank or I.M.O. in U.S. funds.

The following are just some of the arrangements available from Peter. They are playable with five guitars and rhythm section (piano optional). They also include an optional flute part (doubling guitar 1). If you want more information please e-mail Peter Leitch. These pieces are written for different levels of proficiency. They are, in order of easy to difficult:

  • WHERE'S THE TIME by Peter Leitch - This is a simple blues in F at a medium tempo with a Basie-style shout chorus. A good warm-up chart.

  • A BLUES FOR IVAN SYMONDS by Peter Leitch - A blues in C minor with a simple harmonic twist and written backgrounds for solos. Can be played at a medium or up tempo.

  • DUKE ELLINGTON'S SOUND OF LOVE by Charles Mingus - A ballad tribute to the Duke, this arrangement has solo rubato chord melody, and a richly voiced ensemble. A good change of pace for your guitar ensemble program. As performed by Guitars Play Mingus.

  • NEW RHUMBA by Ahmad Jamal - This composition was made famous by Miles Davis and Gil Evans. There is nothing like this in guitar ensemble literature. Dynamics and blending.


107 Morton Street #3A
New York, NY 10014-3347
Tel/Fax 212-727-1788

  • Polytone amplifiers and uses the Mini Brute II Model
  • Atilla Zoller guitar built by Hofner with a Zoller pickup by Shadow Electronics - One of only two such models in existence
  • Ramirez nylon string guitar

My Pictures

Fellow Jazz Guitarists- Available for sale:

These black and white images are available as 11 x 14 ($250) and 16 x 20 ($350) gelatin silver prints. They are archivally processed for maximum permanence and are available individually or as a set of 6 ($1300 for the 11 x 14s and $1800 for the 16 x 20 sets).

They were printed by the photographer from film negatives in a traditional darkroom. The prints are sold unframed.

To see more of Peter's photography go to www.peterleitch.zenfolio.com.



  • Landscape, Jazz House, JH 7005, 2015, trio with Ray Drummond, Steve Johns
  • California Concert, Jazz House, JH 7004, 2013, quartet w. John Hicks, David Williams, Billy Higgins
  • Self-Portrait, Jazz House, JH 7003, 2007, solo.
  • Autobiography, Reservoir, RSR 179, 2004, quintet w. Jed Levy, George Cables, Dwayne Burno, Steve Johns
  • The Montreal Concert, DSM 3037, 2001, duo co-led w. Gary Bartz
  • Blues on the Corner, Reservoir, RSR 160, 1999, sextet w. Bobby Watson, Kendra Shank, Renee Rosnes, Dwayne Burno, Billy Hart
  • Up Front, Reservoir, RSR 146, 1997, trio w. Sean Smith, Marvin "Smitty" Smith
  • Colours and Dimensions, Reservoir, RSR 140, 1996, septet w. Gary Bartz, Jed Levy, Claudio Roditi, John Hicks, Rufus Reid, Marvin "Smitty" Smith
  • Duality, Reservoir, RSR 134, 1995, duet w. John Hicks
  • A Special Rapport, Reservoir, RSR 129, 1993, quartet w. John Hicks, Ray Drummond, Marvin "Smitty" Smith
  • From Another Perspective, Concord, CCD 4535, 1993, sextet w. Gary Bartz, Jed Levy, John Hicks, Ray Drummond, Smitty Smith
  • Trio/Quartet '91, Concord, CCD 4480, 1991, trio w. Neil Swainson, Smitty Smith (+John Swanna, 3 tracks)
  • Exhilaration, Uptown 27.24, 1985, Reservoir 124CD, 1991, quintet w. Pepper Adams, John Hicks, Ray Drummond, Billy Hart (+2 duo tr. w. Drummond, 1988)
  • Mean What You Say, Concord, CCD 4417, 1990, quartet w. John Hicks, Ray Drummond, Smitty Smith
  • Portraits and Dedications, Criss Cross 1039, 1039CD, 1989, quintet w. Bobby Watson, James Williams, Ray Drummond, Smitty Smith (+Jed Levy, 2 tracks)
  • Red Zone, Reservoir 103, 1987; 103CD 1988, quartet w. Kirk Lightsey, Ray Drummond, Smitty Smith
  • On A Misty Night, Criss Cross 1026, 1987, 1994 CD, trio w. Neil Swainson, Mickey Roker
  • Sometime in Another Life, Jazz House 7002,1982, duet w. George McFetridge
  • Jump Street, Jazz House 7001, Pausa 7132, 1981,quartet/quintet w. Terry Lukiwski, George McFetridge, Art Davis, Freddie Waits, Neil Swainson, Terry Clarke

- - - -


  • The Walkers' Duets, Pamorama Productions, 2008, with Gary Bartz, Ray Drummond, Jed Levy, Harvie S, and Sean Smith
  • The Artist and the City - Peter Leitch: A Video Profile, Pamorama Productions, 2006

- - - -


  • WITH CHAD COE; Sympatico, Sympatico Records 1066, 2010
  • WITH PETE YELLIN: Mellow Soul, Metropolitan 667961111123, 1999
  • The Art of Solo Jazz Guitar: Paddlewheel, Anthology, 1 track (Japanese release)
  • WITH JAKI BYARD: My Mother’s Eyes, Japanese release, 1998
  • WITH DOMINIQUE EADE: When the Wind Was Cool, RCA Victor 09026 68858-2,1997
  • WITH VARIOUS ARTISTS: Portraits in Jazz, Radioland RACD 10006, 1996
  • WITH HEINER FRANZ: At First Sight, Jardis Records, JRCD 9611 (Germany),1996
  • WITH CHRIS MCNULTY: A Time for Love, Amosaya, MC-4545, 1995
  • WITH RENEE ROSNES: Free Trade, Justin Time 64-2, 1994
  • WITH JERI BROWN: Unfolding the Peacocks, Justin Time 45-2, 1993
  • The Concord Jazz Guitar Collection, Vol. 3, Concord CCD 4507, 199l (1 track)
  • WITH JAKI BYARD: Phantasies II, Soul Note 121175-2, 1991
  • WITH JED LEVY: Good People, Reservoir 105, 1988
  • WITH WOODY SHAW: (guest appearance) Solid, Muse 5329, 1986
  • WITH THE NEW YORK JAZZ GUITAR ENSEMBLE: 4 ON 6 X 5, Choice 6831, 1986
    1. Royal Wedding Suite, Pablo Today 2312-129, 1981
    2. The Personal Touch, Pablo Today 2312-135, 1980
  • WITH ART ELLEFSON: The Art Ellefson Trio, Radio Canada International 479, 1981
  • WITH AL GREY & JIMMY FORREST: Out 'Dere, Greyforrest 1001, 1980
  • WITH BUDDY MUNRO: Winter Wonderland, RCI 415, 1975
  • WITH SADIK HAKIM: London Suite, RCI 375, 1973
  • WITH BILLY ROBINSON: Evolution's Blend, RCI 375, 1973

- - - -


  • 1999: Kavahaz Gallery, New York Maison de Culture Frontenac, Montreal (group show)

  • 2000: Kavehaz Gallery, New York Roho Photo Gallery, Cincinnati, OH

  • 2001: Kavehaz Gallery, New York
    1. Sweet Basil, New York

  • 2002: WBGO Gallery, Newark, NJ

  • 2003: Kavehaz Gallery, New York

  • 2005: Living Room Gallery, St. Peter’s Church, New York

  • 2007: WBGO Gallery, Newark, NJ

  • 2009: May Gallery, St. Louis, MO
    1. Hudson Guild Gallery, New York (group show)
      Soho Photo Gallery, New York
  • 2010: Colvard Gallery, Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS

  • 2011: Hudson Guild Gallery, New York. (Group exhibit - two photographs.

  • 2012: WBGO Gallery, Newark NJ

- - - -


  • Cadence Magazine - Peter Leitch interview with Bob Rusch, 1983
  • Coda Magazine - Peter Leitch interview with Bill Smith, 1987
  • Down Beat Magazine - Peter Leitch profile, 1987
  • Jazz Times Magazine - Article "The Widening World of Peter Leitch," 1989
  • Jazz Times - Article - "Peter Leitch's Many Faceted Swing" 1994
  • Cuademos de Jazz (Spain) - Peter Leitch interview with Don Hillegas, 1995
  • Down Beat - Article - "Compatibility and Chemistry," 1998
  • Stacatto Magazine (Germany) - Article, 1998
  • Hot House Magazine - Peter Leitch profile, 2003
  • Jazz Improv Magazine - Peter Leitch interview, 2004
  • Jazz Times - Article "Picking and Clicking" 2007
  • Journal of the New Jersey Jazz Society - Interview, 2010
  • Off the Books: A Jazz Life --Vehicule Press, 2013 (book)

- - - -

Entries in:

  • The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz, Leonard Feather & Ira Gitler, Oxford University Press,1999
  • The Encyclopedia of Music in Canada
  • Masters of Jazz Guitar, Charles Alexander, Miller Freeman Books, 1999 (UK)
  • The Jazz Guitar, Maurice J. Summerfield, Ashley Mark Publishing, 1998 (UK)
  • The Miller Companion to Jazz in Canada, Mark Miller, The Mercury Press, 2003


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