Peter Montalbano's Website . . . lots of things to click here, e..g. the collage below, download of The West End Blues at the bottom left picture . . . also included are a few short musings on sundry topics, only a couple of which are clickable in the text below: to see those, here's the link: WRITINGS
Yo, youse guys, dis is me at my best dese days . . . tanned, relaxed, & happy, with friends in Thailand & Laos (2001 and 2002 here). Most days I look sleepier than this.
Click on this

Thinking about putting together this page, I'm reminded of what they told us about writing our own service resume at the end of Peace Corps service, something like "make it good, don't hold back on the shameless self-promotion, because in the real world it isn't often you get to write your own letter of recommendation." So, following that thought now, I'm going to carefully avoid all my bad points, like being an old guy who's worried about his weight and struggling with great difficulty to put his finances and love life options in perspective and make some sense out of this chaos called life in which he, perpetually perplexed, finds himself. (Uh oh, did I really say all that? I already broke the rule . . . .) What the heck, people don't need to hear about it, they know more than they want about struggle already from their own lives! So following that old advice, and in the best spirit of self-aggrandizement, I'm going to show only the best from here on out. It makes me feel good to look at it that way, while dealing day-to-day with the other stuff. If you wanta get to know the real me better, you can e-mail me at: This website is definitely a work in progress, & this is just the beginning . . . .

--PM Jan 25, 2004

A little "who-I-am" stuff:

Definitely a Montalbano, but also a Greer/McGregor/McKay. While grandparents on my father's side came to the U.S. from Sicily (see documents and Montalbano tourist data), on our Scotch-Irish mom's side she said we trace back to officers in the U.S. Revolutionary War: liberal mom coulda been a member of not just the Daughters of the American Revolution, but the Colonial Dames! She also told us we have Cherokee in our blood, which is a clear possibility, as the infamous Cherokee "Trail of Tears" went right through Benton and Washington Counties in Arkansas, where she grew up, and it ended not far from there. Dad claimed that his side is a noble family that can trace ancestry back to Charlemagne. While that's probably a bit of a stretch, Dad did on occasion act imperial, or at least imperious.
I'm a California guy (S.F. Bay Area) who likes to write, read, play music, study languages, hike in the Sierras, swim and dive, ride bikes (mostly the motorless kind), and play around with computers. Actually, the computer thing is how I make my living now and since 1995, as a database programmer for the Genetics Department at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland. Before that, my primary business was pretty much only playing music around the U.S. and the world for 20 years--I'm a commercial/jazz trumpet player, singer, and bandleader--oh yes, and raising my 2 beautiful kids, Maren & Michael, probably my most important occupation ever. My three big male role models are Mohandas Gandhi, Albert Schweitzer, and Louis Armstrong. The odds are pretty high that I'm the only person in the world who has a Louis Armstrong-autographed copy of Virgil's Aeneid.
I'm also a great admirer of women . . . oops, that doesn't sound quite entirely how I intended, huh? Yes, I do like women generally, but also admire strong, positive, progressive-minded women. Some writers I especially like are A.S.Byatt, Barbara Kingsolver, Doris Lessing (though I think she doesn't understand Satchmo very well), and the great New Orleans mystery writer Julie Smith.
Right now I'm pretty obsessed with mastering the Thai language . . .เราก็รักภาษาไทย กับเมืองไทย มากกกก, but you won't be able to see that right unless your browser has Thai Language encoding enabled. Try Tools - Internet Options - Languages - Add - Thai, and if that doesn't work, go to View - Encoding . . . if you don't see Thai listed, from the View menu choose "More" and you should get a list of languages again, including Thai, which you will choose, won't you? Sorry it's so complex, but give 'em a few years. Anyhow it means "I love Thai and Thailand a lotttttt!"
Some highlights of my music career so far have been

  • getting to play, however briefly it was to last, in Earl "Fatha" Hines' last band, and indeed at that great man's final gig in this world . . . and at his memorial service at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco.
  • Filling in as the temporary leader of the Dukes of Dixieland in New Orleans on the tragically sudden death of the powerful trumpeter Frank Trapani.
  • Playing in a big band backing up Ella Fitzgerald, and getting to hang out with her backstage.
  • Opening for, then backing up, the Temptations, with my own big band
  • Touring the world as musical director on Royal Viking Line cruise ships for a year
  • Playing New Year's Eve and the first two weeks of 1992 with my own band at the Dusit Thani Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand.

Moving back in time, there were some lost years there in the 70s where I was a hippie of sorts, smoked too much grass, and got deeply involved in communal living & rock bands, bands, health restaurants, schools, you name it . . . was director of an alternative high school called Shasta, in Magical Marin County, for a year. Now that last was kind of cool--we were just too broke. If my grant proposal had gotten funded, I might still be there today, and . . . oh, I almost forgot . . . just before my daughter was born I ran away with the circus for 7 months. I kid you not.
But before that, in the wild and crazy 60's, were a couple of comparative literature degrees from my beloved U.C. Berkeley, (and I can't leave out my time with the Cal Band!), two years as an English teacher in Peace Corps Thailand, and the happiest year of my life, a year in Europe where I turned 20 years old, which included a summer at the Sorbonne and 9 months at a small liberal arts college high in the Alps whose founding was inspired by the work and teachings of Albert Schweitzer, called simply "Albert Schweitzer College." Sadly, that wonderful institution is no more.

So far it's been a very cool life, with periods of great, great difficulty. Feels like I haven't peaked yet . . . !?!


For those who have visited the site, the guestbook I had right here didn't seem to want to work right--but now, I think I've got it figured out! to sign/read my new guestbook, please click here . . .

Click on the picture for an audio clip of us playing West End Blues . . . I'll put up the video of us on the above session as soon as I can find the space! - free web hosting. Free hosting with no banners.
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