Singer-songwriter Peter Cincotti is jazz-influenced pianist and vocalist with a bent toward adult-alternative pop and ’70s influenced rock. Born in the Park Avenue apartment of his parents, Cincotti displayed a talent for music after being given a toy piano by his grandmother at age three, and when he was four he began taking piano lessons.
At seven, he attracted the attention of Harry Connick, Jr., who had him sit in at a show at Bally’s Grand in Atlantic City, NJ. He studied classical piano at the Manhattan School of Music and studied jazz piano privately with Ellis Marsalis, among other teachers.
At 12, he turned professional and began playing in clubs in New York. He began singing to his own accompaniment in 1999. That summer, he toured with Connick. In 2000, he appeared at the Montreux Jazz Festival, winning a prize in a piano competition.
In 2001, he performed in the off-Broadway production of Our Sinatra. That year, he graduated from the Horace Mann School and, in the fall, enrolled as a freshman at Columbia University.
In February 2002, at 18, he became the youngest performer to headline at the prestigious Oak Room of the Algonquin Hotel in New York. He was signed to Concord Records, and his self-titled debut album, produced by Phil Ramone, was released in March 2003.
His sophomore effort, On the Moon debuted at number two on Billboard’s Jazz Chart in late 2004 and featured a mix of jazz standards next to Cincotti’s original songs which had begun to lean toward adult-alternative pop. The album earned Cincotti his first gold record in France and was supported by a successful worldwide tour.
Cincotti released the single Goodbye Philadelphia in 2007 which revealed his continuing evolution into a rock-oriented songwriter and performer. In 2009, Cincotti released East of Angel Town which, although still showcasing Cincotti’s knack for jazz inflected pop, was more of a pop/rock singer-songwriter album and featured production from legendary producer David Foster. – William Ruhlmann