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Continued: Jeanne Arland Peterson, matriarch of Minnesota jazz, dies at 91

  • Article by: JON BREAM , Star Tribune
  • Last update: June 25, 2013 - 2:16 PM

Paul, a multi-instrumentalist and singer, performed with Prince groups the Time and the Family, and as a sideman for Donny Osmond, Kenny Loggins and Oleta Adams. His sisters Linda and Patty are singers, while brother Billy has played bass with the Steve Miller Band, Bob Dylan (on his landmark “Blood on the Tracks”) Leo Kottke and Ben Sidran, and their other sibling, Ricky, has been a keyboardist for Bonnie Raitt, Sanborn and Stevie Nicks.

“It’s unfathomable that so many kids from one family are so successful in music,” said Pickett. “She was so positive and so supportive, always out listening to their music.”

Peterson herself released six albums, most recently “88 Grand” in 2009. Last fall, she began work on a record with Grammy-winning producer/engineer Bruce Swedien, with whom she’d first recorded in the late 1950s.

She received many awards, including the Arts Midwest Jazz Masters prize in 1998, and was named to more than one Minnesota music hall of fame.

“She lived an incredible life and left a great legacy,” said her grandson, saxophonist/keyboardist/singer Jason Peterson DeLaire, who tours in Michael Bolton’s band. “From her, we learned about music and life and love.”

And work ethic.

Sunday night, hours after his mom passed, Paul Peterson kept a promise and sat in with soul star D’Angelo at First Avenue. “It was tough to go play tonight,” he said afterward, “but Mom would have kicked my butt if I didn’t play. It was part of the healing process.”

Peterson is survived by her five children, 13 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Funeral services are pending.


Twitter: @JonBream • 612-673-1719


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  • jeannie arland peterson

    Born: Aug. 16, 1921, in Minneapolis.

    Married: To Willard O. (Willie) Peterson in 1943; he died in 1969.

    Children: Singer Linda; bassist Billy; singer Patty; keyboardist Ricky; Jeffrey (who died of leukemia at age 2); multi-instrumentalist Paul.

    First job: Demonstrating sheet music at Dayton’s, circa 1937.

    Latest album: The two-record set “88 Grand” (2009). One disc features vintage recordings from the 1930s through the 1950s, some from WCCO Radio. The other showcases 16 piano instrumentals, accompanied by sons Billy and Paul (on drums).

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