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Peter Hum(Profile/Biography)

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
English
Bruno Schlumberger

Born and raised in Ottawa, Canada, Peter Hum has been a mainstay of the city's jazz community for almost three decades.

He has released two albums of original modern mainstream jazz. Alpha Moment, was released in the fall of 2015 thanks to grants from the Ontario Arts Council and City of Ottawa. In late 2010, he released his debut recording, A Boy's Journey, thanks to a grant from the City of Ottawa. His compositions and performances at the Montreal and Ottawa International Jazz Festivals have been broadcast by the CBC and Radio-Canada.

Of Alpha Moment, Canadian jazz broadcasting icon Katie Malloch said: "I think the music is wonderful. I love the shapes of your melodies... Having the CD makes me wish I still had a show to play it on!" UK jazz critic Patrick Hadfield at London Jazz News wrote: "Hum's piano playing is articulate and understated; his composition is fluent and vivacious. With the quality of playing from his band, it makes a very entertaining record.”

Of A Boy's Journey, Radio-Canada producer Andre Massicote said: “Hum presents well-crafted, inspired music that has what it takes to please the most demanding fans of jazz,” while the Montreal Gazette's Irwin Block wrote: “Pianist-composer Peter Hum's debut CD is a celebration -- a modern, forward-looking and mainly upbeat session that sparkles with positive energy.“

In late August 2018, Peter recorded his third album with a stellar group of peers including Kenji Omae (tenor saxophone, Antigonish, NS), David Smith (trumpet, Brooklyn, USA), Mike Rud (guitar, Montreal), Alec Walkington (bass, Montreal) and Ted Warren (drums, Guelph, ON). The resulting album, a collection of original compositions addressing the social and political tumult of our times, is slated for release in 2019. Its songs range from Crises and Reckonings, whose dynamism and interplay bring to mind the frantic highs and lows of current events, to Cassandra, a bittersweet swinging tune dedicated to truth-tellers, to Ordinary Heroes, a soulful appeal for community, resilience and compassion when the going gets tough.

Largely self-taught, Peter was bitten by the jazz bug when he was a teenager in the 1970s, exposed to the music of Keith Jarrett, Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea. He counts himself very fortunate to have performed with such Canadian jazz legends as Sonny Greenwich, Phil Nimmons, Pat LaBarbera and Reg Schwager. Over the years, Peter's own projects have included such esteemed colleagues as the saxophonists Kenji Omae, Joel Miller, Frank Lozano and Mike Allen, guitarist Mike Rud and Roddy Ellias, and drummer Ted Warren, Dave Laing, Dave Robbins and Andre White.

In Montreal during the last half of the 1980s, Peter performed weekly at the first incarnation of the city's famed Upstairs jazz club. While working toward his Master's Degree in English at McGill University, Peter led a jazz sextet that won the Lowenbrau Jazz Search in 1986 and represented Quebec at the Montreal International Jazz Festival's Alcan Jazz Competition in 1987.

Outside of music, Peter has been a journalist at the Ottawa Citizen since 1990, and has covered the education, crime, city hall, courts and technology beats. He has also reported for the newspaper from Hong Kong, New York, San Francisco, London, Amsterdam, Hanover and Eastern Slovakia. He currently writes widely on arts, culture, food and restaurants, and blogs on jazz for the Ottawa Citizen. He lives in Ottawa with his wife and son.

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