San Francisco Chronicle
Paul Chinn / The Chronicle
A: In many ways I do. I listen to the music all the time. I play the music all the time. I keep up on current events by reading '30s magazines.
A: It will be 11 years in March.
A: When I was 22 I started playing at L'Etoile, a restaurant in the Huntington Hotel that opened in the 1960s. The piano was not being used, so they hired me on a temporary basis, and it lasted for 16 1/2 years.
A: At Feinstein's at Loews Regency (Hotel), Park Avenue and 61st Street, once a month (every third Monday) from 10:30 to 11:30. We call it Monday Nights with Mintun.
A: I'm learning new old songs all the time. My turntable plays 78-rpm records.
A: Recently I was hired to play the piano for "Boardwalk Empire," which is an HBO series. I also worked on the set twice as an extra. I put together an outfit of my own cutaway coat and striped trousers, and the costume department let me wear them for the filming. Nobody does that.
A: I was born and raised in Berkeley. My dad, Del Mintun, was an old-fashioned family doctor in Berkeley for about 40 years.
A: My parents were playing recordings of Glenn Miller and Fats Waller and Teddy Wilson and Benny Goodman. I just thought this was the greatest, and I lost interest in the top 40 and what was playing on the local radio station. I missed out on the whole rock 'n' roll phenomenon. I know nothing about disco or hip-hop.
A: I did, class of 1968. During my last year, I'd wear white slacks and two-tone spectator shoes. For the school photograph, I was the only kid who showed up in his own tuxedo.
A: When I was 18, I had a 1938 Buick that I used for 27 years. Then a friend bequeathed me his 1930 Lincoln five-passenger sedan. But when I moved to New York, I sold the cars.
A: It would be nice to have a place where people could come in and sit down and listen to me play the piano and have a drink. It could be in New York, could be in San Francisco.
A: Sometimes people are surprised that I have a cell phone.
A: I do a pretty good Pee-wee Herman impersonation.
A: Everybody thinks I dye it, but it's natural. What's gray is my mustache, so I shave it off.
A: Yes, I did, only one time.
A: It would be 1932 at the Peacock Court ballroom in the Mark Hopkins Hotel, where San Francisco's greatest dance orchestra, Anson Weeks, would be playing "I Guess I'll Have to Change My Plan." I could also stop in at the St. Francis to hear Phil Harris singing "When It's Sleepy Time Down South," with his Lofner-Harris Orchestra. I could see and hear all these legends by just walking or hanging on a cable car.
The Wall Street
More in New
"Pianist and occasional vocalist Peter Mintun launched his series of monthly shows with the zesty "Waltz from Swingtime," then noted the address with "Slumming on Park Avenue" and dryly commented on Hamptons-style weekends with "Mrs. Lowsborough-Goodby." Which made the point that although he can play Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin and Cole Porter better than almost anybody, Mr. Mintun's specialty is the "second-tier" songwriting teams of the 1920s and '30s, like Mack Gordon and Harry Revel ("A Dream Walking"), and the composing bandleaders Johnny Green ("Body and Soul") and Richard Himber ("Monday in Manhattan").
Mr. Mintun renders their words and music with such elegance that you'll inevitably start wondering why all these deco-age songwriters aren't as well known or as widely celebrated as Rodgers and Hart. No matter the song, Mr. Mintun's playing is filled with the joy of living."
The New York Social
Read the New York Times article, STREETSCAPES: 1897 Town House That Looks Like an 1897 Town House featuring Peter Mintun.
is in charge...elegant, agreeable and reassuring...A genuine throwback
to a gentler time, this elegant performer specializes in curios from the
twenties and thirties like Kitten On The Keys, but he has also
been known to play cartoon theme songs if the mood (or crowd) warrants
it. Agreeable and assuring without being over-gracious, he's sort of a
curio himself" -
Nobody knows better,
or plays better...popular music of the 1920s, '30s and '40s.
Most gifted of all
saloon pianists...the Vladimir Horowitz of cocktail pianists."-
Thumbs up to pianist
His intuition transcends
the gaucheries of nostalgia
No one has a better
style at the piano, and knows more music than this charming gentleman.
One of the best melodic
players on the scene today...He's got style, he knows how to please an
audience, and he plays impeccably.
Peter Mintun's music-making
belongs to the world, not only to San Francisco, where he plays nightly
in the everyone-ends-up-there-sooner-or-later bar...His piano purrs, and
it's a friendly as a drink on a rainy night.
...a course on what
cocktail pianists are all about..a bright spot on the Manhattan music
When I grow up I
want to be Peter Mintun.