Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Leitch, Peter (John)
Leitch, Peter (John), guitar; b. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, 19 August 1944. He was born while his parents were in the air force. After the war, the family settled in Montreal. Growing up there, he saw performances by Coltrane, Wes Montgomery, Monk and others.
He played with r&b groups, organ bands and back-up groups for all kinds of entertainers-from strippers to hypnotists to cabaret singers--travelling from one small town to another. He remained in Montreal until 1973-74, when he moved to Quebec City to do a television show. He returned to Montreal, then moved to Toronto in about 1976 and then we moved to New York, where he remains, in late 1982.
Many of his recordings feature his long-time rhythm section of pianist John Hicks, Ray Drummond and Smitty Smith. He has also recorded or worked in the bands of such artists as Oscar Peterson, Milt Jackson, Al Grey Jimmy Forrest, Woody Shaw and Pepper Adams.
Peter plays some classical guitar but he mostly plays a Zoller guitar, a big hollow-bodied instrument made by the Hoffner company and designed by friend and fellow guitarist, the late Atilla Zoller. It is one of only two such models in existence (the other was owned by Jimmy Raney). He uses and endorses Polytone amplifiers. He enjoys visiting universities and jazz camps as clinician and artist-in-residence. He is married to Sylvia Levine-Leitch who is also his manager.
Jump Street (1981); Exhilaration (1984); Red Zone (1984); On A Misty Night (1986); Mean What You Say (1990); Portraits and Dedications (1990); Duality (1995); A Special Rapport (1993); Up Front; Colours and Dimensions; From Another Perspective; Blues on the Corner; The Montreal Concert.
Oscar Peterson: Royal Wedding Suite; The Personal Touch