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Ralph Peterson

Meinl Cymbals just announced that world renowned jazz drumming legend, Ralph Peterson, is now part of their family of artists.

For nearly 30 years, Ralph has been one of the most distinctive and recognizable drummers in jazz. His career began by being hand-picked by Art Blakey as the second drummer in the legendary band-leader’s Jazz Messenger Big Band until Blakey’s passing in 1990. Through a career that has lasted more than 30 years so far, his drumming has led to collaborations with artists such as Terence Blanchard, Branford Marsalis, David Murray, Roy Hargrove, Jon Faddis, Michael Brecker, Gerri Allen and Betty Carter.

Peterson’s latest recording, The Duality Perspective, his 16th as a leader and second on his own Onyx Productions Music Label, features both an All Star Sextet as well as a brand new Fo’tet configuration. Both groups are made up primarily of former and current students, including Sean Jones, Luques Curtis, Tia Fuller, Walter Smith III as well as rising stars Victor Gould and Felix Peikli.

Ralph feels that The Duality Perspective embodies youth and maturity; past, present and future; and diverse stylistic approaches based on a common language. In a bit of word association, Peterson characterizes the young hungry Fo’tet as “dry ice, so cold it’ll burn you,” and the all-star Sextet as “richly rooted, one foot in the tradition, the other foot in tomorrow.” But as he acknowledges: “Each has a distinct sound and approach, yet they have a commonality at the core.”

In addition to his on-going career on the stage and in the studio, Ralph is currently a professor in the percussion department at the world famous Berklee School of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.

Ralph is using meinl Byzance Jazz, Extra Dry and Traditional Series cymbals exclusively. Take a look at Ralph's artist profile on meinlcymbals.com for more information and a diagram of his new Meinl cymbal set up.