Peter Lipa (born: 30.5. 1943) is the most important figure in the Slovak jazz scene. He creates a significant vocal expression with the accent on lyrics. His music is based on a fusion of jazz and blues. Peter Lipa really captivates his audience, not just with his music (harmony, rhythm and tones) but also with his lyrics. He is the first singer in Slovakia to use the Slovak language in jazz music. This is done by combining the rhythm capabilities of the lyrics with his musical expression.
In his repertoire we find traditional, swing and modern jazz standards and in the last ten years Peter Lipa has focused mainly on original songs, based on the lyrics. He confesses he is influenced by Jimmy Rushing, Ray Charles, Al Jarreau, Joe Cocker and Bobby McFerrin. During his singing career he has managed to surround himself with extraordinary musicians who have helped him achieve his reputation as a European jazz vocalist. By the 1980s, Peter Lipa was regularly in the top five of European jazz singers on the Jazz Forum magazine charts. In 1976 together with Milos Paska, he created the ‘Bratislava Jazz Days’ and also started to host a regular radio program about jazz music. In 1989 ‘The Slovak Jazz Society’ (Slovenska jazzova spolocnost) was founded, with Lipa as its president from the very beginning. Today we can say that he has sang on every continent in the world. Most of his songs are now recorded on music media, however he only made his first record while in his 40s due to the communistic censors. Lipa`s most powerful musical experience was a duet with Bobby McFeriin, who performed with him at the end of McFerrin`s concert in Bratislava, 1986.
Peter Lipa was born in Presov and has learned music ever since his childhood. When Peter was twelve years old, he started to learn to play violin, after that trumpet and then trombone and guitar. He finished High school in Presov, after which he studied Stavebna fakulta SVŠT in Bratislava and worked as an editor of Ceskoslovensky rozhlas. In between the years 1975-1976 he accomplished a post gradual study of journalism on FFUK in Bratislava. Peter was into music from the early 1960s. His first band was Struny (Strings) and after that Istropolitana, Blues Five, Orchester Gustava Offermana, Revival Jazz Band, T+R Band and Lipa Andrst Blues Band. On 2nd Beat festival in Praha, Peter and Blues Five earned the ‘Discovery of the festival’ prize. Throughout the whole of his career he has sought and developed relationships with mainly piano players, because as a singer, he feels most comfortable with that instrument. Ladislav Gerhard, Milan Svoboda, Gabriel Jonas, Emil Viklicky, Peter Breiner, Boris Urbanek, Juraj Tatar, Pavol Bodnar and his son Peter Lipa jr. are some of the artists he has worked with. Group Combo was found by Peter in 1978 and this project accompanies him in different forms still today, as the Peter Lipa Band. Currently he works on various short and long term projects. Today it is Visegrad Blues Band, EU4 and Traditional club.