Peter Edward Firk (aka Peter Edwards/stage name) was raised in the picturesque country town of Wallingford, England, just 50 miles northeast of the mystical Stonehenge. As a child he often played at Donnington Castle, a short walk from his home in Newbury, Berkshire. Born into a musical family, his father, brother and uncle played a wide variety of instruments, and his mother sang in local choirs. Peter began classical piano lessons at six years old.
At eight, he moved with his family to a hillside overlooking New Haven, CT. His childhood and upbringing were unique. His father is an internationally recognized scientist and former Chairman of the Physics Dept. at Yale University. His mother, who took on the spiritual name of Padma (which means lotus) is a recently retired Integral Yoga teacher, a disciple of Sri Swami Satchidananda, a vegetarian, and has spent much of her life involved in community service by teaching yoga, primarily to the elderly. At home, Debussy, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Delius, Sibelius, The Beatles, Peter, Paul, and Mary…were in the air that Peter breathed day and night.
In his early teens, inspired by the keyboard playing of Ray Manzarak of The Doors and Keith Emerson, Peter began playing the electric organ in rock and blues bands, listening to the soulful melodies and chords of Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, and Hendrix, and his favorite band …Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. At fifteen, he began exploring the electric jazz and improvisation of John McLaughlin, Wayne Shorter, Weather Report’s Joe Zawinul, and singer/composer/guitarist Michael Gregory with whom he performed at special venues. At seventeen, Peter began performing his original classical/jazz based solo piano compositions to audiences throughout southern New England.
In his twenties, his style evolved to new heights when forming the progressive New England-based New Music International Cultural Ensemble with master Afro-Caribbean percussionist and composer Michael Mills (co-founder of Drums No Guns). Many world-class musicians played with this unique group including Henny Alvarez (legendary Puerto Rican singer, composer and percussionist), Paul Mills on drums (performed/recorded with the Average White Band, Chaka Khan, Daryl Hall, Phyllis Hyman, George Benson, Najee, and Norman Connors), Michael Rubinowitz (NYC eclectic jazz bassoonist), and soft-jazz/R&B/Hip-Hop soprano saxophonist Marion Meadows (performed/recorded with Eartha Kitt, The Temptations, Michael Bolton, Angela Bofill, and Native American flute player Douglas Spotted Eagle,).
During the nineties and into the 21st century, after integrating his natural lifestyle and meditation experiences more deeply into his music, Peter has focused his musical attention on a select group of heart-centered New Age musicians including Medicine Wind, Matisha, Snatam Kaur, Deva Premal and guitarist/songwriter John Astin … although he still enjoys listening to folk, classical, world beat, and other styles of music.
Peter feels deeply that his music has brought him closer to our Mother Earth…the warm sun, air and beautiful natural surroundings are constantly inspiring him to write new compositions. The 15 original songs contained within Peter’s acoustic piano album Secret Oasis reflect his deep passion for natural living. Peter favorite activities include juice fasting for inner purification, eating a raw food vegetarian diet, bicycling along quiet country roads, sharing his vegetarian perspective at his websites Raw Food Planet and The Vegetarian Travel Guide, moonlit walks on the beach, silent meditation, reading ancient Essene scriptures, chanting devotional songs, playing acoustic piano, and spending time alone with the universe or with his beautiful girlfriend.
Over three decades of performing and composing have now culminated in Peter’s debut acoustic piano album, Secret Oasis, featuring violinist Anthony Blea.
Here is a partial list of venues where Peter Edwards has performed:
Brian Alden Jazz Festival
Whole Life Expo
United Nations ‘Culture of Peace’ (NYC)
Yale Divinity School
The Schubert Performing Arts Center
Connecticut Correctional Institute (Niantic, CT)
WGBH (Public TV)
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Miami
Yale University Timothy Dwight College
New World School of the Arts
Educational Center for the Arts
The Barnacle Historic State Par
The Foundry Jazz Club
City Spirit Artist Programs
New Haven Stetson Public Library
Common Ground High School for Ecology
YWCA Benefit for the Handicapped
Parkfriends Brazilian Carnival Ball
Yale School of Medicine
Strong Middle School
State Capital Building (Hartford, CT)
Storer Cable T.V. “On Stage”
Church of Religious Science (Boca RATON)
Tree of Zion
Religious Science Fort Lauderdale
Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Lauderdale
Luna Star Cafe
Yoga Research Foundation
Art Serve Books & Gifts