Individual Bios: Lennie Peterson
Musician/ Visual Artist/ Arts Educator
Lennie Peterson has traveled the world several times devoting his life to music, visual art, and arts education.
Musician and Educator
Five years after graduating from Berklee College of Music in Boston, Peterson returned to Berklee as an instructor to eventually become Assistant Professor of Arranging, Composition, and Ensemble Performance. He created and developed new courses and instituted programs that remain in the Berklee curriculum to this day.
Peterson was also a member of the “Berklee On The Road” faculty and “The Berklee All Stars”, an international outreach program developed by Executive Vice President and jazz vibraphonist, Gary Burton and Vice President of the Office of International Programs, Larry Monroe. Peterson traveled extensively with this outreach program presenting clinics and performances with Berklee faculty while recruiting students nationally and abroad.
After eleven years at Berklee, Peterson took a leave of absence to further establish his career in the Arts as a freelance educator, visual artist, musician, performer, band leader, composer, arranger, conductor, recording artist, music and film consultant, and producer in a wide variety of musical genres and settings including jazz, rock, Latin, and classical.
He also tours extensively and has performed at New York’s Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, The Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Autralia, The Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, London’s Barbican Center, The Vatican, and the Tietro Colon Opera House in Buenos Aires.
As first trombonist with Grammy winning composer Osvaldo Golijov’s “La Pasión según San Marcos”, Peterson has performed with some of the world’s most renowned symphony orchestras. He appears on the 2009 international DVD and CD release of “La Pasión”, filmed and recorded in Holland.
Peterson continues to perform over 250 dates a year with several different groups in various genres of music playing trombone, piano, and singing Credits include performances with Aretha Franklin, Darlene Love, and Tony Bennett.
From 2006 to 2010 Peterson served as Co-Creative Director and consultant for Bose Corporation including the overseeing of script writing, music writing, music production, animation, recording, and educational aspects of the $1.2 million Bose-sponsored film “Musically Speaking II”. The film was created for public schools world wide to teach children the appreciation and life-enhancing values of music.
Fine Artist and Illustrator
Lennie Peterson’s award-winning artwork has been featured in solo and group exhibitions in galleries throughout the United States, including the Williamsburg Art and Historical Center in New York, the Littlefield Gallery in Brooklyn, NY, the Atlantic Works Gallery in Boston, MA., two exhibitions (including one solo) at the Angel Orensanz Foundation Center for the Arts in New York City (2009 and 2010), and a two month solo exhibition at Harvard University’s Three Columns Gallery in 2010,
His Composer Portrait series was also featured in a 36 month solo exhibition at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center from 2010 through 2013.
His art has been purchased around the world including private collections in Spain, Wales, and, most recently, Japan.
Peterson’s illustrations have been featured in magazines, books, and web sites around the world, including a special contribution, personally requested by the author, to talk show host Larry King’s book “Remember Me When I’m Gone”.
A children’s book illustrated by Peterson, written by author Monica Mansfield was published and distributed worldwide by Bean Pole Books in the Spring of 2011.
Workshops, Seminars, and Public Speaking
Peterson has given exhibitions, concerts, and seminars around the country to audiences of all ages. As a clinician, he has held workshops in a wide range of settings in various funding opportunities, from public and private grade schools to colleges, universities and corporate gatherings. In March of 2010 he presented a visual art lecture, concert, and workshop demonstration at Harvard University’s Mather House.
Peterson’s public speaking engagements and seminars demonstrate his improvisational creative process and the blending of the two art forms of music and visual art. He uses this metaphor of improvisational creation to interactively engage his audiences of all ages, artists and non-artists alike, to keep an open mind toward living their daily experiences and challenges in a more spontaneous, trusting, and instinctual manner. The resulting artwork from the presentation is often available for purchase, donation, or fundraising to the sponsoring organization.
Adding to Peterson’s public speaking skills is the injection of humor into his presentations. Peterson's nationally syndicated daily comic strip, “The Big Picture”, appeared in more than 100 newspapers and was published as a book collection by Andrews/McMeel Publishing. In addition, he has written and illustrated nearly a dozen humor books published by CCC Publications of California.
Peterson’s seminars are frequently held in coordination with music events along with his art exhibitions. His artwork features his composer and musician portraits, a series of large 3’ X 6’ drawings and prints which pay tribute to the musicians who have shaped the world around us through their music. The collection of 14 pieces includes portraits of traditional composers such as Beethoven and Franz Schubert as well as contemporary composers such as Miles Davis, Billie Holiday, and Thelonious Monk.
“Sumner Creative” is a DBA based in Scituate, MA and founded by musician, artist, cartoonist, and Arts educator Lennie Peterson.
It is the umbrella company for Peterson’s various artistic and musical endeavors including publishing, Arts education, music performance, composition, and licensing, Fine Art, illustration, and public speaking.
With an accumulated database of talented artists and musicians throughout the world, Sumner Creative has access to a wide range of resources in Creative Arts and education development as well as music composition, production and recording.
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Epic in sound and kaleidoscopic in vision, the eclectic Martha's Vineyard-based six piece Entrain has been thrilling critics and fans alike since its inception.
Formed by drummer Tom Major in 1993, Entrain is also lead singer/guitar wiz Brian Alex. Joining them is bassist M'Talewa, saxophonist/keys/percussionist Rob Loyot, saxophonist/percussionist Hilary Noble and Trombone/keys Lennie Peterson Veterans all, their collective resume includes stints with such diverse players as Bo Diddley, Carly Simon, Chuck Berry, Southside Johnny, James Mongomery, Flor De Cana, and Blood, Sweat, and Tears.
Entrain has recorded eight albums, available on Dolphin Safe Records, all of which have been praised for their ability to shift effortlessly between musical styles - from rock, blues, calypso and ska, to zydeco, jazz and funk - often within the same song.
"The whole Entrain concept is based around the drums and infectious rhythms. Once we've got that.... anything goes, everything goes," explains Major.
"The most important thing that we try to do with our music is bring everybody together in the spirit of peace, love, fun and a ton of drums!"
Entrain's latest record "Reason To Feel Good" has enjoyed heavy rotation in such trendsetter markets as Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New England, Upstate New York, Aspen, Santa Fe, Houston, Cincinnati, and Nashville, and is climbing important industry trade charts like those in CMJ, Album Network, FMQB, and The Gavin Report.
The first single from "Reason To Feel Good", titled "Lucky Just to Be Alive," having only been given to a few stations late in November 2011, was number 2 in WMVY's top 25 songs for 2011. Combining top notch musicians with great songs, and infused with some passionate and conscious lyrics, this CD is undoubtedly the best work from the production team of Major/Alex.
Entrain's visibility had increased a few years ago, as their song "Dancin' in The Light" had been featured in a national TV and radio commercial for the Sylvania Light Company. Also, several tracks from their fourth CD "All One" are featured in the Artisan film "Cutaway," an action-thriller starring Stephen Baldwin, Tom Berrenger and Dennis Rodman. "Cutaway" premiered in May 2001 to strong reviews at the Cannes Film Festival. Producer Richard Glasser personally chose to feature the album's shimmering title track prominently in the film. The anthemic "Arm Yourself" and the ska tinged "Jolly Green Giant" are included in the film.
Since its inception, Entrain has jammed with the likes of singer/songwriter James Taylor, Grateful Dead alum Bob Weir and rock legend Bo Diddley, and amateur saxophonist and professional leader of the Free World Bill Clinton. Entrain continues to perform as a hugely popular live act throughout the northeast and mid-Atlantic, and in 1995 the band garnered a Boston Music Award for Best Live Show. Before their appearance on the "Cutaway" soundtrack, Entrain's music was used as the theme song for MTV's Real World Hawaii. Their t-shirts, bumper stickers and posters have been featured on the popular WB series "Buffy The Vampire Slayer." Entrain has also starred in and performed a memorable TV commercial for one of the nations leading furniture retailers, which aired during the 1999 Super Bowl.
Entrain's goal is not just to be the biggest and the best, says Major. "We want to create music that makes people feel good. When we look out from the stage, all we see is smiling faces of all ages and bodies moving. You can't beat that feeling. At the same time if we can help to promote positive values and lifestyles... great! There's enough negativity in the world, let's spread a little joy around and watch how infectious it can be."
With that in mind, Entrain has been working on a multi-media show called "Entrain's Dancin' in the Light," using projected video images behind the band to help emphasize the band's message of peace, love, unity, and a greener earth.