For more than 30 years, Ralph Peterson has been one of the distinctive and recognizable drummers in jazz. Besides his incomparable talent behind the drum kit, which has led to collaborations with the likes of Terence Blanchard, Branford Marsalis, David Murray, Roy Hargrove, Michael Brecker, Regina Belle, Betty Carter and The Roots in a career that spans almost 35 years – not to mention being hand-picked by Art Blakey as the second drummer in the legendary bandleader’s Jazz Messenger Big Band until Blakey’s death in 1990.
In a varied and prodigious career whose span now encompasses three decades, percussionist-composer Ralph Peterson Jr. has never stopped expanding horizons for the hard-bop idiom he helped revive. Nor has he shirked from intensifying his formidable artistic resources to connect, urgently and emotionally, with the energies of the present day. Ralph takes yet another bold step with his Onyx Productions Music Label.
Ralph is now preparing to release a Big Band CD dedicated to his mentor Art Blakey, a live follow up with Aggregate Prime and a record with 5 other Messenger alumni in a group called The Messenger Legacy, all in the next 12-18 months!
Ralph Peterson is now at the intersection where his influence on modern jazz is undeniable and constant. He has been on more than 150 other CDs as a sideman. He is at the apex of his power as a drummer, bandleader, teacher, and mentor.
Ralph's list of students constitutes a who’s who of today’s amazing up and coming drummers such as Ari Honig, E.J Strickland, Tyshawn Sorey, Mark Whitfield Jr., Kush Abadey and Justin Faulkner and many more.
Ralph is Full Professor of Percussion at Berklee College of Music.
Ralph Peterson also remains in high demand as an educator does workshops and clinics with the support of his endorsers Mapex Drums, Meinl Cymbals, Evans Drumheads, and Vic Firth Stick and Brushes.
Next Gen Big Band
Sextet with Sean Jones and Tia Fuller