PETER MACDONOUGH HAS BEEN PLAYING MUSIC SINCE THE AGE OF NINE and was named “Musician of the Year” the same year. At the age of 13, he was selected to the All State band on clarinet and bass clarinet and at the age of 15, joined the Richmond Youth Symphony under Maestro Fritz Mareffi on clarinet, bass clarinet and bassoon. At the age of 16, he earned a full music scholarship to Valley Forge Military Academy, whose band had played the previous year with the Philadelphia Philharmonic. He continued playing classical music as the principal clarinetist through college until his change to saxophone.
He recorded his first album in 1991 as a tribute to one of his major influences, Jay Beckenstein. From there, he continued to record and perform across the United States, Australia and Italy. In 1996, he returned to San Francisco and began studying Latin Jazz under several brilliant teachers including Michael Spiro, Mark Levine, Marcos Silva, Jovino Santos Neto, Mary Fettig and Steve Erquiaga. Michael Spiro, Mark Levene and Jovino Santos Neto would later appear on his 2010 release “The WOO: A Latin Jazz Suite for Soprano Saxophone.”
During the late 90’s, his band Dorian Blue recorded several albums to supplement Peter’s session work in the Bay Area appearing on several albums for other musicians. In 2007, Peter returned to Sydney where he now lives and continues to perform and record there.
THE WOO “A Latin Jazz Suite for Soprano Saxophone” of THE WIZARD OF OZ sound track. I wrote The WOO in 2002 as basically a thesis representing 3 years of Latin music study in the Bay Area I expected it to be an academic project with no commercial appeal and I was just going to get it out of the way before doing my really commercial album which I’m recording next month. The tag line for that one is Brazilian Motown. “A 6-piece, instrumental dance orchestra playing Motown favorites in a Ramsey Lewis groove with Brazilian percussion.” However, the guys I hired for The WOO were so good, they made it viable. No one was more surprised than I. –Peter MacDonough
“Having just heard THE WOO “A Latin Jazz Suite for Soprano Saxophone” of THE WIZARD OF OZ, I find Peter MacDonough’s approach to the original material masterful and refreshing. Although there is cohesion via the fine arrangements, production and playing by all musicians (including the exceptional pianists), the tracks are so different and digress from the originals in such a way as to keep the listener’s attention by opening up new and interesting vistas of musical exploration. The CD plays well from start to finish (viz: segue from track 1 to 2), is well thought out, well-written album and one well worth a good listen” —Georgina Reed, presenter ‘A Twist of Cool’ – Eastside Radio Sydney. www.eastsidefm.org