Saxophone Professor Peter Sommer is making music!

Peter Sommer SeptetCSU Music Professor, Peter Sommer, has had a prolific season of music-making. Here are recent activities by the head of CSU’s Woodwind Area:

Soulful Songs and Spirits, original music and arrangements for jazz sextet was released in June by the Peter Sommer Septet. According to the KUVO Jazz calendar, the release was inspired by his jazz community and family. The Sommer Septet was formed as a love letter to Jazz, celebrating the music and improvisation of the great jazz composers and their ensembles, including Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, as well as the classic ensembles of Ellington, Count Basie, Horace Silver and Art Blakey. The septet performs classic and original material regularly at venues in the Denver Metro region, as well as at festivals around the country. Members include Front Range jazz luminaries Wil Swindler, alto/baritone saxophones, Al Hood, trumpet, Paul McKee, trombone, Ben Markley, piano, Seth Lewis, bass, and Paul Romaine, drums, as well as Sommer on tenor/soprano saxophones. (

In July and Aug., Sommer was in residency for eight weeks at Nocturne Jazz and Supper Club in Denver, Colorado along with CSU Jazz Studies Professor Wil Swindler, Gabe Mervine, and a rhythm section. The performances featured the use of all the saxophone types and all original arrangements.

In Aug. and Sept., Sommer had a seven-week residency at Nocturne. The New Cool Quintet presented original compositions and arrangements inspired by late nights, quiet intensity, lyricism and the simmering burn of American Jazz and Brazilian Bossa Nova. Featuring music by Miles Davis, Lee Konitz, Bill Evans, and Antonio Carlos Jobim, as well as originals by Sommer that allow space for improvisation and dynamic interplay between these fantastic artists. Greg Harris, vibraphone, Annie Booth and Dawn Clement, piano, Michael Rinko, bass, and Kevin Matthews and Dru Heller, drums.

Ari's Funhouse album coverOver the summer, the Ben Markley Big Band released Ari’s Funhouse, a big band album featuring the music of drummer Ari Hoenig, with Hoenig himself in the drum chair. CSU Music faculty members Peter Sommer, saxophone, and Wil Swindler, saxophone, are featured on the album (available at Sommer is also featured on the summer release Ghost Orchid with Steve Kovalcheck (available on Apple Music).