Popular American percussionist and bandleader Ralph Peterson has died.
Before his death, Ralphs Peterson a professional bandleader with an absolute receptacle, died today at the age of 58 in North Dartmouth, Massachusettes.
His death was made known through his public relation manager.
Ralph Peterson, Jr. died this morning, and I’m devastated. He was my teacher and mentor in Philly, during my early 20s. Just listen to how he drives the beat in 1988, leading a band with Terence Blanchard, Steve Wilson, Geri Allen and Phil Bowler #RIP https://t.co/7gIHJciRtK
— Nate Chinen (@natechinen) March 1, 2021
He was of two drummers to perform with The Jazz Messengers, having been hand-picked by Blakey as the second drummer in the legendary bandleader’s Jazz Messenger Big Band, in which he served until Blakey’s death in 1990.
Peterson’s CV includes more than 150 albums as a sideman, with credits on albums by Michael Brecker, Roy Hargrove and former Messengers bandmates Terence Blanchard and Branford Marsalis.
On a hot August of one afternoon in Boston, Ralph met freshmen for Orientation Week at Berkeley College of Music, where he has been teaching drummer-orchestra-composer-pedagogue for 16 years. An imposing presence adorned with a colourful African outfit, he walks in front of the classroom, writing on blackboards as he tells historical facts as the preacher addresses his flock.
“Congratulations guys, you have achieved a lot by getting here. You are the best in your communities, the best where you come from.
”he tells students. “My job is to feed your hunger, to ask more questions in your mind. And my goal is for you to leave with a sense of empowerment. ”
Professor Peterson presides over a class of 20 students, some of whom barely know who Miles Dice was, not to mention Peterson’s own mentors, Paul Ray Effrey and Michael Kerwin or his ultimate exemplary art, Art Blake.
As he would say later. “They are so young, they do not know, they do not know.”
For this institution of jazz history, Peterson is instructed to click on 100 years of information in a 105-minute speech.