Peter T. Ballin (1973) Saxophone

Ed. Note: Peter Ballin was a member of the 1972 and 1973 New Trier West High School Recording Jazz Ensembles. In 1972 he toured Europe and was a member of the award-winning band at the Montreux International Jazz Competition. (See 1972 Yearbook Folder)

Peter is versatile musician whose wide professional experience ranges from performance to recording to teaching; from Jazz, to Jingles, to Rock. He teaches Jazz Improvisation, Performance, Theory, Saxophone and presents clinics throughout Europe and the U.S. on these subjects. He performs on a wide array of instruments, including the saxophones (tenor, alto, soprano), the oboe and English horn, the flutes (piccolo, c, and alto), the clarinet and the Akai E.W.I. (Electronic Woodwind Instrument) with digital and analog synthesizers and digital samplers.

RECORDINGS: Among the many national performers with whom Peter has recorded are Carly Simon, Bette Midler, Michele LeGrand, the Brecker Brothers, Dave Mason, Angela Bofill, and Steve Forbert. Others with whom Peter has recorded are the Bee Gees, Shay Jones, M-Doc, Paul Clemens, Queen, T’Pau, Bad News Travels Fast and Jack Elliot, Peter’s CD-Extra, Taking It Apart, as well as the soundtracks for the Columbia Motion Pictures A League Of Their Own, The Last Fight, MCA’s The Flintstones, Campbell Scott’s The Secret Lives of Dentists and RSO’s Saturday Night Fever.

CONCERTS: Peter has performed in concert with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the New American Symphony, and Michele LeGrand Orchestras. Among the national artists with whom Peter has performed are the Bee Gees,
Eric Clapton, Manhattan Transfer, the Pointer Sisters, Gloria Gaynor, Bette Midler, Nancy Wilson, Ray Charles, Tony Bennett, Liza Minnelli, Peggy Lee, and Wayne Newton. Peter appeared with Natalie Cole on the Oprah Show.

JAZZ GIGS: Peter Ballin enjoys a wide experience in musical styles. He has performed with such Jazz Musicians as Jaco Pastorius, Barry Ashtule, Jim McNeely, Randy Brecker, Jack Wilkins, Mark Egan, Mike Clark, Adam Nussbaum, Hiram Bullock, Jay Anderson, John Scofield, Michael Brecker, Mike Stern, Dave Liebman, as well as with such Big Bands as the Gil Evans Big Band, the Dave Mathews Big Band, the Gerry Mulligan Big Band, and Peter’s own groups, The Peter Ballin Band and The Peter Ballin Technology Ensemble.

Peter’s bands perform a variety of venues including corporate, private events as well as concerts and festivals. Peter’s CD-Extra, Taking It Apart has been released by Ponytail Records (

JINGLES: A veteran session player, Peter continues activities in music production for TV and Radio commercials and has performed in major Jingle Campaigns that include the following: Chevrolet, Buick, Oldsmobile, Busch Beer, McDonalds, Sears, United Air Lines, Coors Beer, Lowenbrau Beer, Ruffles, Mars Bar, Green Giant Vegetables, Bud Light, 7-UP, and many others.

JAZZ PEDAGOGY: Peter Ballin was a faculty member of DePaul University in Chicago from 1984 to 2004. While at DePaul he taught Jazz Improvisation, Jazz Theory and was the Director of the Jazz Combo Program. He now teaches private Jazz Improvisation and Jazz Theory lessons to advanced students of all instruments. Peter continues to travel to European and American Universities and High Schools to conduct seminars and clinics on Jazz Improvisation, Theory, Saxophone and Performance. Peter’s jazz improvisation book, Talking Jazz/Playing Jazz, which has the endorsements of both Michael and Randy Brecker, is available through Hal Leonard Publishing. In 1990 Peter was awarded a prestigious National Endowment for the Arts grant to further his extensive jazz knowledge and study with Jim McNeely.

EDUCATION: Peter received his bachelor’s degree in Studio Music and Jazz at the University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida.