Peter Daggett Eden

8/20/1953 - 10/25/2011

With his bride, Roya, at their wedding reception

With his best friend, Bruce Felter, with whom he talked daily

With My Trio (lead by Cathy "Withacee" Felter) in its final formation

With My Trio in an earlier formation

With Dan Keller and Laurie Antonioli

Peter's last gig -- 50 Mason, San Francisco,
where he was the organizer and MC.
That's him at the keyboard.

Virginia, Cathy, Peter, and friend, mugging for the camera.

Victor Stone wrote a tribute to this remarkable man.

The Peter Eden Memorial Musician Scholarship Fund
(to be administered through the JazzSchool) has been proposed.
Please let us know if you can help us make this happen!

We are planning a tribute event -- a jam session/party/wake/group wail -- for Sunday, April 8th, 2012, 7-10 pm, at the JazzSchool.

Please get in touch -- help us pull it together.

Peter would have loved this!

Dan Keller
Tammy Pilisuk
Dean Muench
Cathy Felter
Virginia Cooke
Here's the lineup so far:

            7:15-7:30 Combo 1
            Dean Muench - bass
            BoB Calo - guitar
            Jim Richards - drums

            7:35-7:45 Combo 2
            Jim Van Boven - guitar will play with a combo
            Jim Blakeley - guitar
            Benny Watson - piano
            (one song)

            7:50-8:15 Combo 3
            Jim Van Boven - guitar
            Les Williams - bass
            (two songs)

            JAM STARTS 8:15

            SINGERS   (2 songs = about 10 minutes per singer)
            Tammy Pilisuk - vocals
            Virginia Cooke - vocals


            Cathy Felter vocals
            Anna A vocals



            Joan Getz - vocals
            Bonnie Somedy - vocals
            Madeline Sheron - vocals (maybe)


            Benny Watson -Piano
            Ben Flint (not confirmed) - piano
            Bob Calo (back-up)

            Dean Muench - bass (and sound engineering)
            Dan Keller - bass
            Tom Glass - bass
            Stephanie - bass (back-up)

            Mark Secosh - tenor sax
            Gil Cohen - trumpet/flugelhorn

            Andre Custodio - drums
            Vincent Robinson - drums (7-8:30 only-- or may not come)
            Dave Getz - drums
            Becca - drums (may accompany Tom)

It's been a long, long time since I was a regular Jazz Camper and so I didn't know that Peter had passed. I'm really sad to hear it, even though I hadn't been in touch--of course I have so many memories of our regular gig at the Emerald Garden.

--Nanda Berman

With Nanda Garber, 2002

He was a great and fun player. I enjoyed my times playing with him.

--Priscilla Rice

Just a shout-out to other friends of Peter's to say I wish I could be there April 8, and thanks for keeping me on your maillist. Unfortunately I live in Tokyo, so won't be able to make it. Peter's death was a terrible shock for me as for all of you. He and I played together for several years, starting around 1996 or so, I think, first with Bruce (also sorely missed) and Cathy Felter, and more recently with Barb and Charlie Hadenfelt. Peter and the Hadenfelts even came over here a couple of times and we did some Tokyo gigs together. Those are memories I'll always cherish.

I will be in the bay area July 9-16 and will be doing a gig in Berkeley with Barb and Charlie (pianist TBA) that will be at least in part a tribute to Peter. Hope some of you folks can make it.

Best wishes to all of you, I'll be thinking of you and Peter on the 8th.

--Alan Gleason
2-19-9 Zenpukuji
Suginami-ku, Tokyo, Japan

Peter was such a gracious man and wonderful accompanist in many of the vocals classes I took at The Jazzschool. What a loss.

--Christina de Souza


I met Peter fifteen years ago through some musician friends. I was a guitar player, jammin' around with a number of people, but wanted more of a focus. We instantly hit it off, both of us wanting to play jazz and to do this in a way other people would enjoy. Peter became my musical mentor and friend. He taught me what a song is. It has a beginning and an ending. It has rhythm, harmony, and a melody. He could do all of this on his piano and also hear the voices of the other instruments and arrange them into a harmonic whole. He also understood the emotions behind the music, how they give it power and authenticity.

Our little group began with Peter on the piano, me on guitar, and Bonnie as our vocalist. Later, Les joined the group playing acoustic bass. Bonnie picked most of the songs and Peter arranged them in the best key for her, giving us written charts for our practice sessions and performances. Peter and I and some combination of the band met at his house and played music and socialized for 2 or 3 hours nearly every week for 15 years. By my estimation, Peter and I played music together over 500 times. And what a gift it was! It was a wonderful comradeship and showcased his special gifts of intelligence, creativity. sensitivity, and humor.

He wasn't content to play a song the same way year after year. He would experiment- giving a jazz tune a reggae or country and western beat. Most of the time it worked. He would re-harmonize old standards to bring out different nuances latent in the song

His sense of humor set a good tone for our sessions. Often he would begin by telling a few jokes that would have us howling. His humor would also express itself musically with the occasional comic flourish. We had a friendly feeling in our group, and for me, I appreciated the opportunity to step into this world where I could express myself emotionally and creatively.

I will miss our sessions together. It was a special time. Tears are flowing as I write this. I want everyone who reads this to know what a wonderful man Peter was. I will remember him always in a thousand little ways. A fragment of a song overheard in a cafe. Peter would have liked that arrangement- or not. The cover on my i phone is like his- a good choice.

Before I close, I want to remember his generosity. Beyond what he gave me and others musically, he was always generous with his time, stopping by to fix some computer glitch or setup problem, even if it took several hours. He never asked for or expected anything in return.

It is hard to say goodbye to Peter. For me, he will always be around in subtle ways that I cherish.

--Jim Van Boven

He was also an inspired programmer.
He developed Borland's software development environment
as well as PopUpCop, a product of his own
that he termed, "the Internet annoyance remover".
It sold briskly for several years.

I am heartsick at the passing of my good friend and colleague. Peter was among the most generous, decent and intelligent individuals I have known, and I will miss him tremendously.

I hired Peter into a mobile health company over two years ago, where, among other achievements, he was indispensable in providing software function to physicians doing emergency work in Haiti after the earthquake there.

And nine months ago Peter joined me in founding a new company, which we called SceneFlash. Over those nine months Peter and I worked very closely together. When we could, one of us drove across the Bay to visit the other, but when we couldn't, we spoke on the phone at least five times a day, weekends included.

Peter accomplished more over the last nine months than any other software engineer I've known could have. He had an amazing combination of technical range, discipline, dedication and creativity, and produced an extraordinary body of software. We used to joke about VC's viewing us as the "old couple" compared to the 25 year olds they usually met with. But I'll tell you that I'd take Peter over an army of 25 year olds. He applied his wealth of experience and wisdom while remaining young at heart and light on his feet- always wanting to learn new things, and enjoying it all. He picked up a new language in a day or two just last month, and was just that remarkable in every facet of his professional life.

I truly regret that I couldn't make SceneFlash into a funded success during Peter's lifetime, and my driving goal is to do so now, so the world can see what great stuff Peter created.

On a personal level, I just really liked Peter. There were no interactions with him that I didn't come away from chuckling and knowing more. He had high standards, but they led to really great results. But more importantly, he was at heart one of the most gentle, generous of spirit individuals that I have known. He worked feverishly for free, all so we could make our dream come true and because he was such a dedicated friend. He also was a humorous and spirited guy, a blast to talk or just hang out with. He'd sometimes open a phone conversation with a well-crafted pun or joke of some kind, then dissolve into this impish giggle, proud of what he had wrought. He was quick to smile, and his eyes would often light up like an excited child.s when discovering something new- he got an awful lot out of life every day, and gave back even more.

I will always remember Peter as a wonderful friend and a virtuoso at the keyboard.both kinds of keyboards. In his too-short life, he was more of a success, in both music and software, than most of us could hope to be in several lifetimes. Peter, thank you and rest in peace.

--Bob Quinn

Virginia Cooke retrieved these photos of a fondly-recalled gig with Peter in 2004.

Here are some photos of Peter and the Hadenfeldts in Tokyo in 2009. Barbara Hadenfeldt writes:

We met Peter in 2006 at the Emerald Garden Restaurant in Alameda, a joint famous for lousy Vietnamese food and wonderful jazz. Charlie and I were about to take a retirement-from-UC trip to Asia, and much to our delight, Peter joined us. In Spring 2007 we traveled to Tokyo and had a few great gigs thanks to Peter's friend Alan Gleason, a superb bassist with his own bebop combo in that jazz-loving city. We then flew to Beijing, where we played at the charming Sanwei Bookstore; then took the train to Shanghai and sat in at the House of Blues & Jazz, where we met Scotty Wright and other fabulous musicians. We made a second trip to Tokyo with Peter and his wife Roya in 2009.

Through all these years we played often with Peter around the Bay Area and participated in lively jam sessions at his home and in San Francisco. We were to play together at Berkeley's Westside Cafe the week after his death. We'll play there on Friday July 13th with Alan Gleason on bass, in part as a fond tribute to Peter and his eternal spirit.

-- Barbara and Charlie Hadenfeldt
BabShad Jazz

Sad conclusion to the Emerald Garden story... I made the initial contact with Harry Dang, the owner and chef. He was actually an excellent cook when he had the opportunity to stretch out, which he did for a few of us lucky ones. He loved jazz and was open to the idea of regular performances -- no money, but we got fed. He and I grew a friendship of sorts. He told me stories I was never sure whether to believe, such as his regular trips back to his native Vietnam where, he said, he produced porno videos.

A couple of years ago I got a call from him from a hospital room in L.A. He was dying of cancer and was dead broke and was calling everyone he could think of. I wish I'd had the presence of mind to help out. I'm ashamed to say that, confused by this call from out of the blue (it had been years since last contact), I didn't. I don't know what became of poor Harry after that.

-- Dan Keller

Postscript --

Peter is long gone now and I suspect no one visits this page anymore. But he is still in my thoughts and this is a place where I can share them.

In regard to Maye Cavallaro, he is vindicated. When he was still alive and there were hints of a rift, considering her wise, centered, and loyal whereas Peter was never easy to get along with, I gave her the benefit of the doubt and assumed that the problems were his, not hers. As I have subsequently discovered, she is none of those three things and he was all of them. Peter, Bruce (drummer, also now deceased... may he rest in peace) and I played faithfully and well as the house band for several semesters for her singing class, as volunteers. Once she got some budget to pay musicians, Peter (the only one of us who wished to continue since Bruce died and I dropped out of the music world while in nursing school) felt abused when she ditched him. For Maye, we were good enough when we were free but when there's pay, so long suckers. "The fighting is so bitter because the rewards are so small" -- but anyway, Peter old chum, now I "get" why you were upset and, too late, have come to see you were right. How frustrated you must have felt when, screwed over, people sided against you. Well, now the truth is known. You were the good guy after all.

On a more positive note, I remember lots of good things, too. Among his virtues was an insight into technology and an ability to support others who struggle with it. I would often email him when I got stuck trying to do something with my PC. Minutes later, the phone would ring. This cross-media response (replying by phone to an email) would always surprise me; it seemed like a rule was being broken. Peter did that a lot. The second step in our little ritual was when I answered the phone. I grew up in Europe where it's common to state one's name rather than answering, "Hello." Next, he would reply -- always in an ironic tone like he thought me a bit odd -- "Hello, Dan Keller." I can hear that tone and those words so clearly even now, and I miss them terribly. Next, I would moan about whatever Microsoft-induced misery I was enduring at that moment and then proceed to marvel at how he was able to envisage -- from the other end of the phone line, as he walked me through menus, config files, settings, downloads, updates, etc. -- what, from my meager descriptions, I was seeing on my screen and he was seeing only in his mind. He possessed a rare and spectacular kind of techno-empathy and I miss that, too.

I also miss his remarkable jazz charts. He would take the standards -- tunes we've played year after year -- and rewrite the chord changes, making the hippest substitutions. In classic, cynical jazz musician humor we called them prostitutions. Peter's charts are still my favorites.

Of course, most of all I miss the man himself. When there's a suicide, the folks left behind can't help but do the coulda-shoulda-woulda recriminations. How could I not have seen how he was suffering? How could I have failed him so? These thoughts can't change what's happened. Better to review the fond memories of good times and a remarkable life.

-- Dan Keller
December, 2012