Jeanne Arland Peterson, matriarch of Peterson family of musicians, dies


The matriarch of one of Minnesota's most notable musical families has died, the Star Tribune reports.

Jeanne Arland Peterson died Sunday in Eden Prairie. She was 91.

Peterson, a jazz singer and pianist, raised a family of five professional musicians while continuing a successful musical career of her own. She spent 22 years in the WCCO Radio house band and performed with the likes of Bob Hope, George Benson and Perry Como, the Star Tribune reports.

A Minneapolis native, Jeanne Arland Peterson even played organ at Twins games for three years, taking over for her husband, Willie, who died of cancer in 1969.

The Peterson's children have all gone on to notable careers as solo artists and accompanists for others. According to the paper, Linda is a singer; Billy has played with the likes of Bob Dylan and the Steve Miller; Patty is a singer; Rick has played keyboards for the likes of Bonnie Raitt, Stevie Nicks and David Sanborn; and multi-instrumentalist/singer Paul has played with The Time, Donny Osmond, Oleta Adams and Kenny Loggins.

Read the Star Tribune profile on the Peterson family from 2011

Paul Peterson also sat in for an scheduled encore for soul singer D'Angelo at First Avenue hours after his mother's death on Sunday night, because he knows she would have wanted him to.

He told the Star Tribune's Jon Bream that it was tough to go on, "but Mom would have kicked my butt if I didn’t play. It was part of the healing process."

The Peterson family has also been known for the their annual family Christmas concerts over the past two decades at various Twin Cities venues.

In addition to her five children, Jeanne Arland Peterson is survived by 13 grand children and nine great-grandchildren.

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