Born in Hong Kong, Peter Shu has been studying piano from an early age. A graduate of North Central University with a B.S. in music, Peter has toured nationally as a performer, producer, and clinician. His background includes choral and orchestral conducting, arranging, producing, sound and electrical engineering.
Mr. Shu’s musical palette spans many genres due to the wild musical journey he’s traveled. Classically trained as a prodigy since age 4, he started his early jazz training with entertainer Jim Shannon in his teens. He then joined the famed JB Singers show choir and later the cover band JB Grads under the direction of James Bontrager, with whom Mr. Shu traveled extensively in the upper Midwest as a union musician. The genres during this era spans music from the 1920’s through the 1990’s, Broadway to Country, Do Wop to Top 40 Pop. While attending the University of Minnesota, Mr. Shu studied keyboard harmony with Rebecca Shockley and jazz piano with Jimmy Hamilton. He then transferred to North Central University, where he studied classical piano with Dr. Herbert Johnson, and conducting with Dr. Larry Bach. The genres of music during the college years consisted of mostly Contemporary Christian, Gospel, and Worship, with Jazz projects interspersed. He traveled with the Contemporary Christian group One Accord throughout the US and Canada during this time. Mr. Shu started his serious jazz studies with Mary Louis Knutson and Bobby Peterson during the later part of his college career. After Bobby Peterson's untimely death, Mr. Shu continued his studies with the former Cubanisimo pianist Nachito Herrera in Jazz and Afro-Cuban forms.
In 1998, Mr. Shu gained an interest in atonal and free improv forms when he met his wife, choreographer Dannell Dever Shu. In 1999, Ms. Dever and Mr. Shu produced Alliance in Seattle, WA, a dance and live music full evening performance. This was where Mr. Shu explored his John Cage and Schoenberg tendencies as it relates to dance.
Mr. Shu started the jazz ensembles Esprit de Corps and the Peter Shu Trio in 1998 with a focus of writing and performing original fusion and straight-ahead jazz songs and arrangements. He also started the Festival Orchestra at North Central University, for whom he wrote, arranged, and orchestrated. Mr. Shu was involved in a concept bebop fusion project called Lifestyles, creating with the likes of Curly Martin and Ben “Jammin” Harris, featured on Jazz88’s radio show “Jazz at the G.” Mr. Shu’s film credits include “Psalm 51” an independent film produced by Kris Barberg of Montage Productions, and “Wharepapa” co-commissioned by the state arts board of New Zealand and produced by the Body Cartography Project of Otto Ramstad and Olive Beringa.