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A Musical Life: Michael Peltzer

Doug Hahn

Michael Peltzer is a multi-instrumentalist based in Wichita. He has played with a variety of acts throughout his career, including The Watchers with Jenny Wood and with Reggie Littleton’s jazz group.

“I was an athlete, basketball player. Didn’t really even think about playing anything but then I blew out my knee in my junior year. I started picking up the guitar. Then I found Clif Major’s shop, which was just down the street from my house. I ended up being a regular there, hanging out a bunch, learning anything I could from all the old guys that were playing there with him.

“Clif was great. He took me under his wing. I was an interested kid into everything. He was an old guy struggling to make gigs, so I hauled all his stuff. Learned how to set it up there. I eventually took lessons from Clif at his studio. We became friends. We went from hanging at lessons to going back to one of our houses and listening to more stuff. Having fun with him.

“That was one thing Clif said, ‘Play with anybody that you possibly can. Even if they’re worse than you, you can still learn from them.’ The more people you play with, the more knowledge, the more things you can pick up if you’re hungry for things. I’d always try to play with anyone.”

Jedd Beaudoin is host/producer of the nationally syndicated program Strange Currency. He has also served as an arts reporter, a producer of A Musical Life and a founding member of the KMUW Movie Club. As a music journalist, his work has appeared in Pop Matters, Vox, No Depression and Keyboard Magazine.