Musicians



Peter would like to express his heartfelt gratitude to the following people for making First Things First a reality:
There's an old saying that "iron sharpens iron." (Proverbs 27:17) Collaborating with the finest musicians in the business not only makes for a great recording, but also encourages one to dig deep and give one's best performance. It has been my privilege over the years to work with these consummate artists, who represent the rich diversity of American and world music, in the heart of the New York City music scene. I hope I've risen to the challenge.

- Peter Valentine


Jon Albrink

Jon Albrink, Vocals

Jon is an accomplished bassist, guitarist, and highly-regarded lyricist. He has played with Buddy Rich, Milt Jackson and Mary Lou Williams. He was also a member of Twenty Seven Heavens, Peter's old group.

David Charles, Percussion

David Charles has performed with various international artists such as Bill Evans, Bob James, Carmen Cuesta, Chuck Loeb, Dave Edmunds, Jay Beckenstein, Michael Franks, Eddie Daniels, Larry Coryell, Lisa Loeb, Thursday Diva, and many more.
John Clark

John Clark, French Horns

John Clark has performed all over the world with a wide diversity of musicians including Gil Evans, McCoy Tyner, Miles Davis, Joe Lovano, Julius Hemphill, Jaco Pastorius, George Russell, and the Mingus Orchestra, among many others.
Jonathan Dinklage

Jonathan Dinklage, Violin, Viola

Jonathan is currently the concertmaster of Matilda the Musical on Broadway. He has performed or toured with Michael Jackson, Lou Reed, David Bowie, Elvis Costello, Luther Vandross, Barbra Streisand, Rod Stewart, Andrea Bocelli and many more.
Brian Dunne

Brian Dunne, Drums

Brian is a former member of Average White Band and the current drummer for Hall & Oates. He has recorded with countless stars, and played drums on Songs of the Beloved, a collaborative work by Peter and his brother Tim.
Mark Egan

Mark Egan, Bass

With three platinum and three gold albums to his credit, Mark has recorded with the likes of the original Pat Metheny Group, Sting, Carly Simon, John Mclaughlin, Cyndi Lauper, John Abercrombie, Michael Franks, Stan Getz, Bill Evans, and Judy Collins.

Jim Gately, Guitar, Engineer

Jim is a brillant guitarist, singer and songwriter, as well as a talented engineer. He is the owner and operator of Valhalla Recording Studios in NYC and member of Peter's old band, Twenty Seven Heavens.
Aaron Heick

Aaron Heick, Saxophone

Aaron is a member of the CBS Orchestra, and has played with Sting, Barbra Streisand, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, Aretha Franklin, Elton John, Carly Simon, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, James Taylor, Billy Joel, Lady Gaga and Cyndi Lauper.
Amanda Homi

Amanda Homi, Vocals

Amanda Homi is a singer, songwriter who has recorded, performed and toured with a diverse selection of artists including Ray LaMontagne, Jackson Browne, Jane Siberry, Grover Washington, Maxwell, Mavis Staples and Pete Seeger.
Ann Kim

Ann Kim, Cello

Ann Kim plays cello with the Mostly Mozart festival and the New York City Ballet. She has appeared as guest artist with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, the Trenton Symphony Orchestra, and the Concerto Soloists Orchestra of Philadelphia.
Phil Magnotti

Phil Magnotti, Mastering Engineer

Phil is the owner and operator of Silvermine Studios in Norwalk, CT. Among the artists he has worked with are Ray Charles, Doc Severinsen, Jerry Mulligan, Randy Brecker, the Stylistics, Michel Camilo and Diane Ross. He also has three Grammys to his name.
Tim Ouimette

Tim Ouimette, Trumpet

Tim, a wonderful trumpet and valve trombone player, is a very talented arranger/composer and writes for his own group, the Tim Ouimette Big Band. He has performed with Ray Charles, Mike Clark, Iggy Pop, Ben E. King and Ray Barretto.
Cesare Papetti

Cesare Papetti, Percussion

Cesare has played orchestral percussion with Regina Opera, Camerata Orchestra, Staten Island Philharmonic, Centre Orchestra, Garden State Philharmonic and the South Shore Symphony. He is a founding member of Occassional Noise Trio.
Gil Parris

Gil Parris, Guitar

Gil Parris is a Grammy-nominated rock, blues, jazz and pop guitarist who has performed with Dr. John, Blood, Sweat and Tears, Bobby Caldwell, Toni Braxton, David Clayton Thomas and many others.
John Ragusa

John Ragusa, Pennywhistle

John plays all of the flute family (bass, alto, tenor, concert, piccolo) as well as wood flutes, and pennywhistles. He also plays trumpet, harmonica, jews harp, didgeridoo, and the conch shell. He has an original group called Mulebone.
Gina Serafin

Gina Serafin, Oboe

A graduate of Yale, Gina plays with the Westchester Symphonic Winds, the Bear Mountain Winds, the Eclectic Chamber Consort and many other chamber groups, all while teaching music in Chappaqua, NY.
Mark Sganga

Mark Sganga, Guitar

The 2009 winner of The International Finger Style Guitar Championship, Mark has toured and recorded with Indian Violin Virtuoso, Dr. L. Subramaniam, Larry Coryell, Herbie Hancock and Taj Mahal.
Yousif Sheronick

Yousif Sheronick, Percussion

Yousif has performed with Philip Glass, Yo-Yo Ma, Lark Quartet, Ethos Percussion Group, Branford Marsalis, Sonny Fortune, Cindy Blackman Santana, Glen Velez and Paul Winter. He is a member of duoJalal.
Vaneese Thomas

Vaneese Thomas, Vocals

Daughter of the legendary Rufus Thomas, Vaneese has performed with Aretha Franklin, Luciano Pavarotti, Sting, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, Eric Clapton, Dr. John and countless others.
Tim Valentine

Tim Valentine, Lyrics

With a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Columbia University, Tim taught Philosophy of Education at Fordham University, served as a chaplain in the US Army, and is now teaching Philosophy in Great Falls, MT.