Pete Whittaker was born and grew up in Wolverhampton, in the West Midlands region of England,UK. From an early age he was fascinated by all things musical, and as a youngster attempted to teach himself guitar and clarinet, while having lessons on piano and violin.

Through his school years, Pete did the usual thing of singing in choirs, playing violin (and viola) in the school orchestra (and later in the Wolverhampton Youth Orchestra), but also joined and formed teenage rock bands in which he played guitar and occasionally an old Hohner Pianet electric piano (all amplified via an insanely cumbersome system, far too big to be wholly contained within the boot/trunk of his parents' Austin Allegro - what a car!!).

Moving on to the University of East Anglia, Pete gained a music degree, and got interested in electroacoustic music. He furthered his studies, gaining a masters degree in electroacoustic composition.

Having harboured since his mid-teens a subconscious love of jazz (but having made little effort to try to listen to much...) Pete became very much into the genre while at college. Having met like-minded souls (notably saxophonist Julian Siegel, and pianist Kate Williams - now Pete's wife) the study and practice of jazz took over from the vague pop and rock rumblings of his adolescence.

Jazz piano in due course gave way to the discovery of that force-of-nature known to the world as the organist Jimmy Smith, the single most important jazz Hammond innovator ever. The sound of those old Blue Note and Verve albums from the 1950s and 60s grabbed Pete by his charity-shop lapels and made him determined to recreate the sounds for himself. Obviously this would involve a return to the acquisition and frequent transportation of even MORE cumbersome musical equipment than was previously required. Thus was the beginning of Pete's professional life as a jazz organist... twenty years later and he's still as excited by the music as he was then (but now he has a proper van, and can play the organ better).

Pete was fortunate to gain wider experience and exposure in the 1990s by touring with a couple of high-profile rock bands. The first of these was an Indie-ish melodic rock band (with a distinct folk-music influence) called The Wonder Stuff. Pete toured UK, Europe and North America with them (on and off)from 1991 to their initial disintegration in 1994.

In 1996/7, Pete was invited by another "guitar" rock band, The Catherine Wheel to perform similar touring duties as he had with The Wonder Stuff. Several very jolly north American tours ensued, but the band stopped working in 2000. Very soon afterwards, The Wonder Stuff re-formed to do a series of high-profile come-back shows and Pete was once more employed, but after a few years, the band fell out (again), and has now re-formed with a significantly different line-up, sans Pete.

These periods of touring/recording gave Pete glimpses of the Music Industry that seems largely irrelevant to (or at least far more rare in) the world of jazz. Back in the 90s, major record companies were still making and spending (often wasting) vast amounts of money, though surprisingly little found its way to the musicians themselves.

Since moving to London in the late 1990s, Pete has had his backside kicked (musically and literally) by many fine jazz musicians. He will be eternally grateful to them all, and strives to learn from their talent and his own mistakes.

Some really good bands and musicians with whom Pete is/has been associated include:


The Filthy Six (2009 to present. Boogaloos and funky jazz with twist of gospel.)
John Etheridge's Blue Spirits (2005 to present. Power-trio with John Etheridge and Mark Fletcher)
Zöe Schwartz Blue Commotion (Rob Koral/Zöe Schwartz, powerful electric Blues.)
Theo Travis' Double Talk (2006 on... Jazz meets Psychedelia with a twist of Prog)
Nigel Price Organ Trio (2002? to 2014. We won "Best Ensemble" in 2010 Britsh Parliamentary Jazz Awards)
Gareth Lockrane's Grooveyard (early 2000s to 2006)
Jonny Boston Quartet (2004 to 2009)
Carl Orr (2005/6)


Steve "Billy" Buckley and Eryl Roberts (Ditto... new CD recorded and mixed but moth-balled for the present, will post a bit of it on the sounds page soon...)

And occasional appearances with such UK jazz luminaries as:

Jim Mullen, Dave Cliff, Dave O'Higgins, Julian Siegel, Liane Carroll, Tony Kofi, Terry Smith, Mark Crooks, etc.