“Life is a lot like jazz... it's best when you improvise”. George Gershwin
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23 Jun

Ralph Peterson

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One of the most famous drummers worldwide, Ralph Peterson comes to Nakas school of music for drum workshop on June 23, 2015 - 19:00 at Nakas School of Music — ippokratous   41 Athens  210 3634000. Ralph Peterson played with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messenger Big Band from 1983 until the death of Blakey. In 1985 he began playing with pianist Walter Davis Jr. and trumpeter Jon Faddis. The recording and touring with big names of jazz, as Terrence Blanchard, Branford Marsalis, Stanley Turrentine, David Murray, The Count Basie Orchestra, Betty Carter and Michael Brecker carried his name around the world.

After his first sensational performance at the Philippos Nakas Concert Hall (May 2011), Ralph Peterson is coming back to the Philippos Nakas Conservatory. Currently among the mostrenowned drummers, Ralph Peterson emerged in the mid-'80s as co-leader of the high visibility ensemble OTB and as a member of the Harrison- Blanchard Group. Peterson's decade-old Fo'tet is the platform by which he expresses deeply held musical principles.

'I believe I was predestined to be a drummer.' Raised in a musical family, he first hit the traps at 3. 'My early playing was a basement experience. I played with records by James Brown, Earth Wind & Fire and Parliament- Funkadelics, where the beat was powerful and primal. I'd wanted to play since I saw Sonny Payne with the Count Basie Orchestra when I was 13. But my interpretation of Jazz didn't venture very far beyond Maynard Ferguson's Primal Scream until I was out of high school. I'm not a jazz baby. I'm a funk baby who came through the Fusion realm of George Duke and Stanley Clarke.

Peterson began his studies at Rutgers in Brass before moving to Percussion.

While in college, Peterson began an ongoing gig in pianist Walter Davis, Jr.'s trio, and worked in Blakey's two-drummer big band; proximity with the mentors evolved to enduring friendship. 'Art became my idol not only as a drummer, but as a bandleader and a molder of men. Walter taught me the tradition of Bud Powell and Thelonious Monk, and how to play trio in a triangular manner, not that bass and drums lay down a carpet, but always three-way conversation, with input and dialogue and conversation from all the components in the ensemble. That's how the music was when he was 17 playing in Bird's band, and I perpetuate that tradition.'

With his 18th CD, the 4th with Onyx, ALIVE at Firehouse 12 - Volume 2 Peterson continues to illustrate his mastery.This is Peterson’s 18th record as leader and the level of performance rivals any record the drummer/composer/educator has appeared on in the last 25 years. The live record accurately captures the tremendous energy of this band, which has become a signature brand of the drummer/composer/arranger/bandleader.
Many of his students are nowadays very well known drummers themselves. He taught at the Arts University Philadelphia, Long Island University, Νorth Netherlands Conservatory, Juilliard School of Music. He is a full-time professor at Berklee College of Music.

Last modified on Wednesday, 24 June 2015 07:32

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