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Ralph Peterson Jr., Drummer
Master drummer, respected composer-bandleader and talent scout extraordinaire Ralph Peterson has carried on in the tradition of his mentor and idol Art Blakey, who was renowned for his hard-driving approach to the kit and his uncanny knack for discovering new talent. The list of jazz greats who passed through the ranks of Blakey’s Jazz Messengers reads like a Who’s Who in Jazz. Similarly, Peterson helped launch the careers of several promising young players in various bands over the years, including trumpeters Sean Jones and Jeremy Pelt, saxophonists Steve Wilson, Ralph Bowen and Tia Fuller, vibist Bryan Carrot and pianist Orrin Evans. Peterson emerged on the jazz scene in the mid ‘80s with Out of the Blue, a band of young lions put together by Blue Note Records. He subsequently worked through the ‘80s and ‘90s in bands led by Branford Marsalis, Roy Hargrove, Terence Blanchard, Jack Walrath, Steve Coleman, Stanley Cowell and Betty Carter. Peterson is a professor at Berklee College of Music in Boston.