Discover more from Peter Daou
Thank you for being here.
I first sat down at a piano in Beirut, Lebanon at the age of four. When the Lebanese Civil War broke out, my upright piano doubled as a barricade at night. I played and practiced throughout the war, picking up jazz tunes on a short wave radio and immersing myself in the music of Charlie Parker, John and Alice Coltrane, Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson, and other jazz giants.
I enrolled at the American University of Beirut in the early 80s, but my first two years of college were marred by Lebanon’s ongoing strife and I transferred to NYU to escape the violence. Living in New York City was an opportunity to fully pursue my music. I signed a recording contract with Columbia Records and spent the 90s as a producer and keyboardist, working on remixes for artists including Miles Davis, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, Diana Ross, and Björk.
At the turn of the millennium, I put my music career on hold to enter the political arena. I began as an anti-war activist and eventually became an adviser to organizations, campaigns, and presidential and congressional candidates. Still, music remains my passion, and I find spiritual strength and comfort at the piano. I’ve recorded a number of solo improvisations and posted them here alongside contemplative quotes and my wife Leela Daou’s beautiful photos. I hope they bring you peace and healing.