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Peter Knudsen Takes Jazz Musicians To The Next Level

"Secret Sauce." Feb. 2013 Photo by: W.C. Lawson

“Secret Sauce.” Mississippi Pizza. Feb. 2013 Photo by: W.C. Lawson

Singer, songwriter and jazz guitarist Peter Knudsen has taken a few players from the University of Portland Jazz Band and turned them into an underground jazz/funk group.

“We kind of just formed in the Jazz Band. After Thursdays we would just stay after practice and jam. A couple of months ago we started getting serious,” said Knudsen. “As of last week we are officially called Secret Sauce.”

Secret Sauce is now booking shows and developing organized management with the help of Red Thorn Creative Agency. Last Thursday Knudsen and his band played a show with The Harm and acoustic guitarist Daniel Silvey.

“My buddy Shane Geiger booked us with The Harm at Mississippi Pizza. That was our first actual formal show,” said Knudsen.

Before Thursday night Secret Sauce just played house shows at friends’ houses.  Now, Knudsen hopes to have future opportunities with recording. They have a lot of ideas they get from improvisation and jamming together.

“A lot of jazz is based of making it up as you go. It’s like a stream of consciousness if you want to equate that to terms of something literary,” said Knudsen. “So, when it comes to writing, I’m sure there’s going to be a lot inspired by our improvisation.”

As a composer, Knudsen is experienced with various types of music. He has been in a band in Chicago for the last six years, called Tenstrike. They experiment with many types of musical genres from latin, blues to hard rock n’ roll.

“It’s fun, because everyone brings something different to the table.” said Knudsen.

Secret Sauce is adopting similar techniques as they fuse modern funk from a Stevie Wonder approach, while giving it their own subjective spin. They covered John Mayer’s tune, “Vultures,” on Thursday night.


“We are having a lot of fun, we hope to just keep going and see what happens. Whatever the future brings,” said Knudsen.

As the group works together to begin composing music and booking shows, Knudsen has high hopes for his new band.

-W.C.

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