Peter Cincotti Tickets for Sale

Part of a new wave of singing jazz pianists, Peter Cincotti has already found more success in his first two decades of life than most people find in a lifetime. A Manhattan native, the precocious pianist first performed live with Harry Connick, Jr. when he was a mere seven years old. By age 12, Cincotti was playing in New York jazz clubs, and by 18 he was holding court at the fabled Algonquin Hotel, forever known as the definition of pre-hippie, adult sophistication. Given that he was already a hardened veteran, it's not surprising that Concord Records snatched Cincotti up right out of high school. His self-titled debut was released in 2003 and showcases his relaxed Harry Connick, Jr. vocal style and fluid piano skills. The album immediately topped the jazz charts and was followed the next year by the more pop orientated On the Moon (2004). Time will tell if Cincotti will cross over to the pop world the way that Norah Jones and Jamie Cullum have.

"On The Moon / That's where you'll find me soon," Peter Cincotti sings on the title track of his latest release. Though this couplet describes a deep romantic longing, it could double as a comment on the bounding artistic growth and career trajectory of the 21-year old pianist-singer-songwriter the New York Times calls "prodigiously talented" and a "proud pop-jazz throwback."
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On The Moon, the follow-up to his acclaimed 2003 self-titled debut, adds another accomplishment to a resume that already looks as if it belongs to an artist twice Cincotti's age. Consider a small sampling: While in high school, he gigged regularly at top clubs throughout Manhattan, studied with renowned jazz masters David Finck and James Williams, starred in the off-Broadway hit Our Sinatra and performed at the White House. At the 2000 Montreux Jazz Fest, he won an award for a hard-swinging rendition of Dizzy Gillespie's "A Night in Tunisia." In 2001, Peter was the youngest artist ever to play the storied Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel. Last year, he reached No. 1 on the Billboard Traditional Jazz Charts and instantly made history by becoming the youngest solo artist to do so.

Cincotti did all this the time-honored way of piano men from Nat "King" Cole to Billy Joel--with two hands and a voice steeped in emotion. Born July 11, 1983 in New York City, Peter Cincotti (pr. Sin-KOTTEE) started tinkling the keys of a toy piano when he was three years old. It was love at first C chord. "A year later I was taking lessons," Cincotti recalls. "My mother asked the teacher to let me play whatever I wanted, and not to force me to practice classical technique. I was so young at the time that she didn't want me to get turned off. So I'd have a lesson and bring in what I liked - everything from movie songs to The Phantom of the Opera to the theme of Jeopardy."

His tastes expanded further as he got older. "The first music that really hit me was Jerry Lee Lewis. I loved boogie-woogie piano playing when I was about five-years-old. But I was always exposed to all kinds of music. Being born and raised in Manhattan, there was so much around. My sister and I were taken to hear everything from rock concerts at Madison Square Garden to jazz clubs to Broadway shows. I always went through different phases through the years and had many influences. I'm still experiencing this development, which I hope continues for the rest of my life."

This easy style-hopping infuses On The Moon with a variety that's missing from so much contemporary music. Of his eclectic approach, Cincotti comments, "I had so many different ideas and so many different kinds of sounds that I wanted to convey on this record. I look at each song as a story that I want to tell, or an emotion or feeling that I want to represent." There certainly is a heady mix of feelings on display, from the downtown sophisto-funk of "St. Louis Blues" and the relentlessly groovy retooling of "I Love Paris," to the crooning serenade of "Some Kind of Wonderful" and the fleet-fingered workout of "Cherokee." And that's just the standards.

While Cincotti bends the Great American Songbook into new and interesting shapes, what really gives On The Moon its creative thrust is his burgeoning talent as a songwriter. "I wanted my original songs to lead the way in choosing outside material," he says. "After I made my first record, I started writing my own lyrics, which changed the entire process of songwriting for me. The marriage between the music and the lyrics changed, and the songs became more personal. When you're writing both music and lyrics, nothing stands in between you and your creation. You sit with your instrument and you start from nothing. What you create is completely your own, and you're not using any kind of third party to express yourself. You're saying what you want to say completely."