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Apr. 8—TUPELO — Peter Kater's name may not be recognized by the average music fan. But for those who enjoy contemporary piano instrumentals, Kater is well known.
Kater is a two-time Grammy Award winner and 14-time nominee for Best New Age Album. He's sold millions or records and composed music for more than 100 television, film and theater productions. His works have been featured on Summer Olympic broadcasts and he's been honored by the United Nations.
While the accolades have brought Kater fame, he remains a person who simply loves getting on stage and performing for an audience. He'll do that Friday night in Tupelo as the April performer for the Link Centre's Monthly Music Mix concert series.
The 7:30 p.m. show in the center's concert hall is a bonus for both Tupelo and Kater.
"I was coming there originally for a private concert, and then they thought, 'Well, maybe you should play at the Link Centre while you're here'," said Kater, and then he laughed. "Oh yeah, of course. I love to play. If there are people who want to listen, I'm there to play."
Tickets are available online at linkcentre.eventbrite.com.
Kater, a German-born American pianist, has been a prolific composer and performer. He's released more than 50 albums, making his debut in 1983 with his first, "Spirit." His music, a combination of influences like jazz, classical and rock, brings calm and relaxation to listeners.
He was first nominated for a Grammy in 2003. After coming up short a dozen times, Kater claimed his first Best New Age Album in 2017 with "Dancing On Water." Two years later, Kater won again with "Wings."
"I like to call myself a contemporary pianist because I'm a piano player who was trained classically and has enjoyed jazz influences, and who loves pop and rock music," Kater said in a telephone interview. "My music is a hybrid of all the music that I've ever loved and ever studied. And it's kind of like now my own. It has all these different influences."
The environment is an inspiration for Kater, and it's reflected in many of his works. Those pieces earned him the Environmental Leadership Award from the U.N.
"I'm one of those lucky people who get inspired a lot," he said. "I'm inspired by nature, the intimate relationships in my life. I get inspired by humanity when it steps up and does the right thing. ... I love life. I love the seasons. I love music that comes through me. I love playing for people. I love good food. I love people who are honest, real and transparent."
Kater is grateful the honors he's received have opened the way for new adventures and inspirations.
"I like the recognition because it enables me to do more of what I want to do," he said. "Of course, it's flattering and it's a great honor to be recognized and get Grammy nominations and that kind of stuff. But what's really juicy about it is that it puts me in a situation where I can actually reach more people and do things like come to Tupelo and play the Link Centre. It's great. I've never been there, and I'm looking forward to being there."