Doug Petty, Tears for Fears / Shawn Colvin / Rihanna / Celine Dion / Britney Spears

Doug Petty keyboard player Tears for Fears

Doug Petty is an American pianist, keyboardist, arranger, composer, and educator based in Los Angeles. He’s currently the keyboard player for the iconic Tears for Fears, but that’s just the start. Doug has recorded and performed with numerous artists, including Rihanna, Celine Dion, Britney Spears, and Enrique Iglesias. His work extends to film soundtracks, contributing to movies such as “Moonrise Kingdom” and “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” . Petty is also an adjunct professor at the USC Thornton School of Music. He has produced records for artists like Shawn Colvin and Audra McDonald and composed music for Disney TV series such as “Amphibia” and “101 Dalmatian Street.” We cover much of this amazing history and more in our catch-up with Doug.

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Discussion topics covered during the show (links will open in new tab):  

Doug’s musical upbringing

Doug’s education at Eastman School of Music

Piano, orchestration and arranging over a career

USC Thornton School of Music

Doug’s approach as an educator of young musicians

The early gigging years

Working with Shawn Colvin

Shawn Colvin – Holiday Songs and Lullabies

Working on Britney Spears’ first album

Working with Enrique Iglesias

Mayfield – Mother England

Joining Tears for Fears

The challenge of recreating Tears for Fears keyboard sounds live

Doug’s Tears for Fears keyboard rig

Doug in action with Tears for Fears at Madison Square Garden

Doug with Tears for Fears BBC Piano Room

Doug’s arrangements on display – Rihanna at the American Music Awards

Doug’s work with iconic Chinese singer G.E.M.

Doug’s film work

Working on animated classics such as Happy Feet and Frozen

Keeping music human in an era of emerging AI

Doug’s thoughts on train wreck moments and falling off stage

Tag a Keyboard Player: Patrice Rushen

Desert Island Discs: Goldberg Variations: Glenn Gould (1981 version), Gaucho – Steely Dan, Encouraging Words – Billy Preston, Organ Grinder Swing – Jimmy Smith, So – Peter Gabriel, Live At Fillmore West – Aretha Franklin, Dark Side of the Moon – Pink Floyd

Thumbnail photos come from the amazing Emily Rath Orzabal via Doug’s Instagram

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