Peter Kavanaugh is a guitarist, bandleader and composer. He also co-produces music. Jazz standards and the great American songbook are what really nourish his soul. “I enjoy incorporating unexpected elements into songs by the great 20th-century composers,” Peter says. His classes with Joe Pass, the jazz guitarist best known for his work with Ella Fitzgerald, Sara Vaughn and Frank Sinatra — are partly to blame. Peter was already a rare talent, winning the Illinois high school jazz competition. Then, he found a “safe, secure, and easy job,” which took him away from what he wanted to do: play guitar. Peter was plagued by regrets for many years. Finally, he quit his job to pursue his dream of playing guitar. He moved to a poor neighborhood to spend his days practicing and his evenings taking up every gig. Peter spent nearly a decade making a living as a sideman playing swing, gypsy, blues and country music. Finally, he decided to quit his day job and move to a cheap neighborhood where he could practice and take up every gig.