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Jeff Peterson Bio

A two-time Grammy winner, Jeff was featured on Slack Key Guitar, Volume 2 which won the first ever Grammy Award for Best Hawaiian recording; his second Grammy in 2010 was for his contribution to Masters of Slack Key Guitar Vol. 2. A multiple Na Hoku Hanohano awardee (Hawai'i's Grammy), his solo CDs O'ahu (2015), Slack Key Travels (2013) and Grammy-nominated Maui On My Mind (2009) each won Na Hoku Awards for Best Slack Key, and his Grammy-nominated Slack Key Masters collaboration with Amy Hanaiali'i won Best Island Music.  Five of his original songs are featured on The Descendents soundtrack.

Born and raised amidst Maui’s paniolo (cowboy) culture, he was introduced early to the guitar and began to pick up influences from such Hawai‘i slack key greats as the Gabby Pahinui Band, Leonard Kwan, and Sonny Chillingworth. Jeff went on to study jazz and classical guitar at the University of Southern California and at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa, going on to study and perform with renowned guitarist Benjamin Verdery.

As a performer, Jeff has worked with a wide range of artists and groups including Eric Clapton, Led Ka‘apana, James Galway, Michael Feinstein, the Honolulu Symphony, Hawaii Opera Theatre, jazz bassist Rufus Reid, shakuhachi master Riley Lee, soprano Dana Hanchard, and many other artists in Hawaiian, classical, and jazz music. He had a critically-acclaimed run with Bryan Stokes Mitchell at Feinstein's in NYC, and has performed with Ben Wolfe, Matt Catingub Big Band, and the Honolulu Pops orchestra with Sergio Mendez, Natalie Cole, Monica Mancini, and Aaron Neville.

He has traveled to Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and across the U.S. performing at a variety of venues from Symphony Space in New York City to the National Folk Festival in Canberra, Australia. He was featured at the First World Guitar Congress in Maryland where he performed Hawaiian slack key guitar as well as classical music in master classes by classical guitarists David Russell and Dusan Bogdanovic. He has performed for former president Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the island of Kauai on two separate occasions. He performs at Michel’s Restaurant in the Colony Surf Hotel in Waikiki in addition to a variety of other venues throughout Hawaii and abroad in both solo and group settings. In addition to performing, he taught the guitar at the University of Hawaii, and for several years ran the guitar program.

"Slack key" is the uniquely Hawaiian style of open tuning the guitar.  Jeff performs regularly in the island-wide Annual Slack Key Guitar Festivals.  He has appeared at the Hawaii International Jazz Festival with the Honolulu Pops Orchestra on O'ahu.  He has also performed at the Blue Note in Tokyo and in Nagoya. 

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