Peter Guidi was born on september 14th. So it is time to celebrate his life and music. In normal times, we would like to invite you to eat a spaghetti-dinner with us, and have a jamsession. Alas. Hopefully next year… Instead, we’d like to invite you to cook spaghetti yourself and send us a picture!
The best pictures will be published on this page.
The sender of the best picture will receive a copy of the marvelous and moving book “In his own Write”. Peter started to write down his memories and stories a few years ago. Ofcourse, you can order you copy in our shop, ofcourse.
I arrived in Milan
not knowing anybody with just 40,000 lire in my pocket and my saxophone. Forty
thousand lire may sound like a lot of money but the fact that a simple pizza cost
400 lire gives an indication of how quickly that amount of money could last
Once I had found a
cheap guesthouse, it hit me that if I was going to survive in the city I had to
get street-wise fast. I needed some inside information. The only reference I
had was what the agent in Lucca had told me: ‘Go to Bar Plinio behind the
Galleria del Corso. That’s where the musicians hang out and tell the owner,
Plinius, that I sent you.’
I found the bar
which was situated in the center of the city near the right -hand exit of the
Galleria. I went in and introduced myself to the owner. Plinius immediately
told me some harsh truths I didn’t want to hear. ‘You’re too late; all the
bands have already formed for the summer season. You should have been here two
months ago,’ he said.
the unwelcome news, I had no choice but to go there every day hoping that
something would turn up. During this time I got to know and like Plinius, a big,
soft-spoken, philosophical fellow, who took me under his wing. He told me where
I could find a cheaper guesthouse in the outskirts of town and where I could
get the best pizza for the least money.
Sometimes he would
look at my skinny frame, shake his head and give me a free briosche with my morning cappuccino. But despite having found a
cheaper guesthouse and Plinius’s generosity, my money soon ran out.
A week later I
found myself sitting in the bar almost completely broke. I had just enough
money left for either a bus ticket back to the guesthouse or one last beer.
Although it was late in the evening and an hour’s walk to the guesthouse, I decided
to go for a last beer. ‘What the hell,’ I thought.
A few minutes
after I started my glass of Nastro Azzuro, the door opened and three guys
walked in. Two were around my age with long hair and dressed in t-shirts and
jeans. The third was older, in his mid-thirties, dressed sharp in the latest
‘Ciao Nando’, said
Plinio to the older of the three, ‘Long time no see. How are things going for
you this summer?’
Nando, ‘I have work in clubs for the whole summer season. Up and down the
Adriatic coast: Milano Marittima, Rimini, Riccione.’
‘Great. Sounds like
you’ve got it all sewn up,’ commented Plinius.
‘But I have one
big problem’, continued Nando, ‘I can’t find a saxophone player.’
I slowly turned around and put my hand up in
the air. Before I could say a word Plinius laughed and said, ‘Peter here is a
saxophone player. He’s been coming in here every day for a week looking for
Nando, who turned
out to be the bandleader, beamed and shaking my hand introduced me to the other
musicians, bassist Sergio Caiazzo and pianist Renato Costarella. Without asking
any questions he immediately offered me the job. The following day I moved into
the guesthouse where they were staying and shared a room with the pianist at no
That same week we started rehearsing in a rented basement. From being down to my last cent I suddenly found myself with paid lodgings and three months’ work on the Adriatic to look forward to.
A famous saxophone player, renowned for being an excessive drinker was astonishing the audience by taking extended solos on difficult tunes although he was clearly highly intoxicated. At the end of a particularly long solo on ‘Cherokee’, taken at a break-neck tempo, an incredulous admirer came to the side of the stage. ‘Man, how can you play so good when your drunk?’, he asked in amazement. ‘I practise drunk,’ came the reply.
De PGF wil graag concerten, reizen en projecten steunen, om zo jonge mensen met jazz te verbinden en het spelen van jazz te stimuleren. Heeft u een goed idee, laat het ons dan weten. We kunnen steun bieden op het gebied van organisatie en fundraising. Stuur ons een bericht via het contactformulier en we nemen contact met u op.
Peter Guidi (1949-2018) was a jazz musician whose main instruments were flute, alto and bass flute, alto and soprano saxophones. But his most important achievement and legacy will always be his role as teacher and conductor of various big bands in the Muziekschool Amsterdam.
fun, but serious fun”, was his motto.
Scotland of Italian parents, Peter Guidi is a self-taught musician. He began
his musical career in Italy where he went on to play with many leading jazz
musicians and performed in major Jazz Festivals including Umbria Jazz Festival,
the Aosta Jazz Festival, the Jazz Festival of Pescara and the Padova Porsche
After moving to Holland he has performed in many national jazz festivals including several appearances at the North Sea Jazz Festival with both his quartet and big bands. He became head of the jazz department of the Muziekschool Amsterdam where he lead several ensembles and big band workshops for students of all ages, beginning with students as young as nine years of age. These bands include the Jazz Kidz, Jazz Juniors, Jazz Generation, Junior Jazz Unlimited, Jazz Focus Big Band, and Jazz Mania Big Band. He also was co-founder of the Junior Jazz College, a collaboration between the Muziekschool Amsterdam and the Amsterdam Jazz Conservatory. Since the Jazz Department began in 1988 his bands have won a total of 83 prizes in national and international competitions.
is author of a two volume flute teaching method: ‘The Jazz Flute’.
Peter Guidi co-founded the first edition of the Netherland National Youth Jazz
Orchestra (NJJO) which has become as established bi-annual event.
Peter Guidi was awarded a Dutch Knighthood for his pioneering work in jazz
education in the Netherlands.
In 2018, Peter was diagnosed with the rare disease Creutzfeld-Jakob. He died on the 17th of April. Only 3 days before, his students had brought him a farewell serenade under his window.
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