Peter Washington initially played classical bass and played with the Westchester Community Symphony at the age of 14. Later he worked with electric bass and in rock bands. He went on to study English at the University of California, Berkeley. At Berkeley he became interested in jazz and began freelancing in the San Francisco Bay area. In 1986 he joined the Jazz Messengers and moved to New York City. Since then he has worked in the Tommy Flanagan trio and for Bill Charlap, and was a founding member of the collective hard bop sextet One for All. Additionally he can be heard on Eastwood After Hours and on pianist Jon Weber’s album Simple Complex.
In 2008, Washington became part of The Blue Note 7, a septet formed that year in honor of the 70th anniversary of Blue Note Records. The group recorded an album in 2008, entitled Mosaic, which was released in 2009 on Blue Note Records/EMI, and toured the United States in promotion of the album from January until April 2009. The group plays the music of Blue Note Records from various artists, with arrangements by members of the band and Renee Rosnes. He is currently performing with Benny Green (pianist) and drummer Kenny Washington (musician).