PETER ECKLUND played and composed in a unique style that mixes swinging jazz of 20s through the 40s with other traditional American music. He was a founding member of the Orphan Newsboys, a swing quartet fronted by guitarist Marty Grosz. He appeared with Woody Allens band at Michaels Pub in New York City. Ecklund is a regular at jazz parties and jazz festivals in the
US and Canada. His own quartet (or quintet) performed at many events and at festivals including the last two summers at the Great Connecticut Traditional Jazz Festival in Moodus, CT. This group also played as a dance band, most recently for the swing dance societies of Albany and Poughkeepsie, NY and at
the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in Hillsdale, NY. He played with two other swing dance bands at many important dance events around the country, Peter Daviss Lindy Hop Heaven and Jay Ungar and Molly Masons Swingology.
Ecklunds cornet (and trumpet) can be heard in the films King of the Gypsies, Eight Men Out, Fried Green Tomatoes, and in many radio and television commercials including those for the Showboat Casino in Atlantic City, NJ. He appeared often on Garrison Keillors Prairie Home Companion, and he is cornet soloist in the Ken Burns films The Civil War, Baseball and The American West. Ecklund recorded with David Bromberg, Bonnie Raitt, Maria Muldaur, Gregg Allman, Leon Redbone, Jay Ungar, Molly Mason, Livingston Taylor, Loudon Wainwright, Hungry Chuck and many others. He made albums of old-style jazz for the Stomp Off and Jazzology labels and a solo album featuring many of his own compositions for Arbors Jazz. There are about 30 jazz albums now available in which he appeared as a sideman, including an album for Stomp Off by the French jazz group Paris Washboard and a total of five albums by two Boston bands, the New Jazz Wizards and the Back Bay Ramblers.
Ecklund has toured Japan with Marty Grosz and Ralph Sutton, and Germany with Grosz and pianist Keith Ingham, and Italy with Terry Waldo. He performed frequently in France leading Trumpet Spectacular. This 7-piece band features Ecklund and three French trumpet players, Alain Bouchet, Boss Queraud and Irakli de Davrichewey, with a rhythm section led by pianist Pierre Calligaris. In late 1997, Ecklund toured the US and Canada with the Billie Holiday-style singer Madeleine Peyroux, opening shows for the pop singer Sarah McLachlan.
Ecklund is the subject of a chapter in Traditionalists and Revivalists in Jazz, a book by the writer and jazz critic Chip Deffaa. He is the author of Louis Armstrong: Great Trumpet Solos, a book of transcriptions of Louiss most celebrated recorded solos published by Charles Colin, and Bix Beiderbecke: Great Cornet Solos for the same publisher.
Other recordings inlude a collaboration with guitarist/singer Scott Foster titled The Potted Palm Orchestra in 2005.
We got the report on April 8, 2020 that Peter passed away in New York at age 74.