Founder & Executive Director
Founded on February 12,
1988 by John T. Peek, his wife Carrie Whaley Peek and
musician Tommy Stewart, the African American Philharmonic
Jazz Orchestra (AAPO) was formed to provide a showcase for
professional musicians and composers of African American
descent in the Atlanta area. According to a 1986 article by
the Rockefeller Foundation, there were only 186 black
musicians in the entire country who were qualified to
participate in major orchestras. At the time the AAPO was
founded, there were only 4 all black orchestras in the
country and at least one or no more than two black musicians
were playing in most major orchestras.
The AAPO provides a performance venue for the presentation
of musicians that would otherwise be denied the opportunity
to perform in fully staged orchestra concerts. The musicians
are experts on their respective instruments. Each member has
been auditioned and carefully selected to build an
orchestra, which exhibits a complete range of artistry on
the featured contemporary, classical, jazz, and gospel
works. It was founded under the umbrella of Music South
Corporation to respond to the musical needs and interest of
the Metropolitan Atlanta community.
T. Peek is the Music Director for the African-American
Philharmonic Jazz Orchestra and Chorale as well as The
African-American Jazz Orchestra. (They are both referred to
as AAPO Jazz or AAPO Philharmonic. )
Mr. Peek is a native of Atlanta, Georgia. A graduate of
Booker T. Washington High School. He received a Bachelor of
Arts degree with Distinction from Clark College, now known
as Clark Atlanta University.
He studied under the direction of Waymon Carver and Dr. J.
Dekoven Killingworth. Mr. Peek also studied trumpet with Max
Friedentard (first Chair) Trumpeter with the show
"Oklahoma," studied conducting at the Conductors Institute,
Columbia S.C. University School of Music.
Over the years Mr. Peek's musical talents have been numerous
and diverse, ranging from directing his own musical groups,
teaching and consulting to many schools and church music
programs. He has performed with many national and
international artists such as Ray Charles, B.B. King, Arthur
Prysock, Woody Herman, Ruth Brown, Little Richard, Dinah
Washington, Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Natalie Cole,
Slappy White, The Temptations, The Dells and Barry White. He
was an early mentor to Atlanta's own Duke Pearson and other
famous musicians. Mr. Peek has had the distinct honor of
conducting the Trujillo, Peru Symphony Orchestra while
visiting Truillo, Peru.
He holds professional memberships in the Trumpet Guild of
America, The National Black Music Caucus and is a Board
Member of American Federation of Musicians Union 148-462
.Mr. Peek is married to Carrie Whaley-Peek, who along with
musician and composer Tommy Stewart are the organizers of
Music South Corporation.
Giving and fill the hall with joy and music! When you
support the African American Philharmonic Jazz Orchestra (AAPO)
you are giving to one of the oldest institution of its kind.
Here are just a few ways in which your support paves the way
for continued public enrichment:
educational programs and workshops for children,
presenting our own musicians
groups and bands
Create unique moments
by honoring our leaders
preserving our sound and history
AAPO is a 501 3(c) non-profit organization. Your donations