Pianist Peter Delano was a child prodigy, and has done nothing to disprove that tag. Influenced by Thelonious Monk, McCoy Tyner and Keith Jarrett, Delano was inspired to play jazz his own way at a young age. He was briefly a member of the pop-rap group Digable Planets, and studied with Garry Dial, who at the time was a member of Red Rodney's group, and was endorsed by Rodney and author Ira Gitler. In 1993 he graduated from the Collegiate High School in Manhattan and at age 17 was discovered by Guy Eckstine, son of the legendary big-band leader and singer Billy Eckstine. The younger Eckstine was instrumental in promoting the fledgling pianist, and Delano released his eponymously titled debut album for the Verve label in 1993. He took courses and graduated from The New School, then began studies at Columbia University. Delano sidestepped working full-time in the music business while producing a second effort Bite of the Apple for Verve in 1994. In a short time frame, some of the prominent jazz artists he formed alliances in New York City with included Michael Brecker, Gary Bartz, Chris Potter, Craig Handy, Dick Oatts, Tim Hagans, Joe Locke, Ray Mantilla, Eddie Gomez, Tomas Ulrich, Gary Peacock, Adam Nussbaum, Victor Lewis, and Joe Chambers. He also took time away from studies playing as a sideman with the touring and recording ensembles of Mark Whitfield and Dewey Redman. In 2004, Delano suffered a spinal injury that affected his left foot, rendering it paralyzed. An emergency surgery fixed the immediate problem, but jeopardized his performing career. Faced with an extended rehabilitation, Delano did slowly heal over a three year period. He was back on the road to a full recovery and gradually returned to jazz. The Sunnyside label recording For Dewey that he did with Redman in 1998 was issued in 2008 after Redman passed away.
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