For more then 35 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 1990 death.
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. He takes yet another bold step with his Onyx Productions Music Label.
He is now preparing to release a Big Band Cd dedicated to his mentor Art Blakey, a live follow up with Aggregate Prime, , and record a 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 then 150 other CD’s as a sideman. He is at the apex of his power as a drummer, bandleader, teacher and mentor. His list of students constitute a who’s who of today’s amazing up and coming drummers like Ari Honig, E.J Strickland, Tyshawn Sorey, Mark Whitfield Jr., Kush Abadey and Justin Faulkner and many more.
He is Full Professor of Percussion at Berklee College of Music.
Mr. 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.