Lennie Peterson - Biography
Boots Mussulli

Lennie Peterson has dedicated his life to visual art, music, and arts education traveling the world several times as a visual artist, composer, performer, arranger, producer, educator, recording artist, and public speaker.

He was an Assistant Professor of Arranging and Composition at Boston’s Berklee College of Music. He created and developed new courses and instituted programs that remain in the Berklee curriculum to this day. Peterson traveled extensively with “The Berklee All Stars”, an international outreach program presenting clinics and performances with Berklee faculty while recruiting students nationally and abroad.

After eleven years at Berklee, Peterson took leave to further establish his career in the Arts as a freelance educator, visual artist and musician. Since leaving Berklee, he has toured the world as a performer, conductor, recording artist, music and film consultant, teacher and producer in a wide variety of musical genres and settings.

He also tours as a trombonist with Grammy winning composer Osvaldo Golijov’s “La Pasión según San Marcos”, appearing with some of the world’s most renowned symphony orchestras.  Performances include 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.
Peterson appears on the Deutsche Grammophon recording and DVD of “La Pasión según San Marcos” released in March of 2010.

Peterson’s award-winning artwork has been featured in solo and group exhibitions in galleries throughout the United States including two solo exhibitions at the Angel Orensanz Foundation Center for the Arts in New York City and a two month solo exhibition at Harvard University’s Three Columns Gallery. Other exhibitions include the Ceres Gallery in New York City, The Williamsburg Art and Historical Center, and the Littlefield Gallery in Brooklyn, New York.
Peterson’s art has been purchased throughout the world including Japan, Spain, and Wales. His Composer Portraits are currently featured in a 24-month solo exhibition at the new Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in Boston, MA.

Lennie Peterson’s Composer and Musician Portraits pay tribute to the artists who have shaped the world around us through their music and include renderings of Beethoven, Franz Schubert, Miles Davis, Billie Holiday, and Thelonious Monk.

The original works are meticulously hand-drawn with pen, ink and oil paint and stand six feet high by three feet wide.
They are then reproduced using the giclee printing process on gator board to any size up to 8 feet in height. The portraits are available for exhibition as well as indoor/outdoor high definition projections that can range from 10 feet to several stories high. Peterson is also available for commission of new works.

Peterson’s illustrations have been featured in publications and web sites around the world.
“The Big Picture,” Peterson’s nationally syndicated daily comic strip, 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 books published by CCC Publications.
A children’s book, illustrated by Peterson, written by veterinarian/author Monica Mansfield and published by Bean Pole Books, was released in the Fall of 2011.

Lennie Peterson is available for public speaking and workshops that 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 encourage his audience, artists and non-artists alike, to keep an open mind to living their daily experiences in a more spontaneous, trusting, and instinctual manner.

Peterson has been a guest speaker to groups of all ages at public and private grade schools, colleges, universities and corporate gatherings including Harvard University’s Mather House, Colubris Technologies, and RSA (EMC Corporation’s security division).
The interactive events use the live demonstration of music, art, and improvisational skills.
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.


Lennie Peterson was born and raised in Central Massachusetts.  His father is a musician and his mother was an artist. He currently resides in a coastal community south of Boston, Massachusetts and he spends his spare time camping, hiking, and parachuting.

Peterson donates a percentage of profits from his creative endeavors to various arts foundations and scholarship programs that encourage young people to pursue the arts in all forms.  He is also an avid supporter of the organizations Why Me, Inc. (www.whyme.org) devoted to helping children with cancer, and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (www.ifaw.org).

Lennie Peterson was raised in a musical family.

“It seems there was always music in the house when I was  growing up, from The Beatles to Neil Diamond to Oscar Peterson to Beethoven and Mahler,” Peterson says. “And, in between, we all had our instruments to practice. My father played trumpet and my sisters played flute and piano. When I think of it now, we probably should have just bought a bus and taken the act in the road!”

With this musical background and his mother a painter, Lennie Peterson had a strong interest from a very early age in both music and visual art. Making the decision to gain a formal education in music, he also kept active as a visual artist while attending Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts..

After graduating from Berklee, he began his career as a freelance musician and artist. Continuing his freelance work performing and drawing, he also began teaching and was eventually appointed a position on the faculty at Berklee as a professor of Music Theory and Arranging where he remained for ten years.

Since then, Peterson has traveled the world as a trombonist, producer, conductor, arranger, educator and recording artist.  He participates in a wide range of musical genres including jazz, rock, Latin, and classical. 
He appears on a variety of CD recordings as well as radio and television spots as a freelance musician and arranger.
He also serves as a creative consultant and music director for corporate films and audio recording.

   As a member of Orquesta la Pasión, he performs with the renowned orchestral work of contemporary composer and Grammy award winner Osvaldo Golijov, “La Pasión según San Marcos”. The piece features Venezuela’s Schola Cantorum de Caracas conducted by María Guinand and Robert Spano, conductor of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
Performances around the world include New York City’s Lincoln Center, London’s Barbican Concert Hall, Porto, Portugal and The Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia.
Peterson appears on the Deutsche Grammophon recording and DVD of “La Pasión según San Marcos” to be released this October, 2009.

   Peterson is also trombonist and co-producer of the popular New England based rock band “Clutch Grabwell”. The band’s third CD will be released this winter of 2009. He is also former trombonist with the critically acclaimed “Revolutionary Snake Ensemble” and is featured on both of the band’s current CD releases.

   Through various educational grants, Peterson also conducts seminars and demonstrations for schools teaching children and young adults about brass instruments and jazz/rock improvisational skills.