Ralph Peterson, Jr.

Professor

"My teaching style is energetic, intense, and no-nonsense. I try to encourage interaction and to inspire my students to push their own limits. Beyond the obvious areas of technique and reading, one of the most important things I teach is total musicianship. This involves hearing and playing beyond the drum set. Understanding form, melody, harmony, and phrasing all have a profound effect on what a drummer plays."

"In addition to total musicianship, a drummer must have good time, big ears, imagination, and humility (to the music). Technique and a healthy, positive attitude are also invaluable."

"I was fortunate to have apprenticed under some of the greatest musicians in jazz: Art Blakey, Betty Carter, Elvin Jones, and Walter Davis. They all had a direct and lasting impact on my musical depth and ability, and I keep their gifts to me alive by passing them on to my students."

"Berklee also allows me to teach much more than drumming. Ensemble work, ear training, composition, arranging, and aspects of the business are all subjects that students need to know about."

"There is no finer collection of musician/educators on faculty anywhere else in the world, and it is an honor to be among them."

 

Career Highlights

B.A., Rutgers University, 2004

  • Leader of the Ralph Peterson Sextet, Fo’tet, the Unity Project, and Tri-Angular
  • Performances with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messenger Big Band, Michael Brecker, Carmen Lundy, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Don Byron, Don Braden, Walter Davis, Jr., Jon Faddis, Terrence Blanchard, Branford Marsalis, Stanley Turrentine, David Murray, the Count Basie Orchestra, Sean Jones, Ravi Coltrane, Tia Fuller, and Betty Carter
  • Recordings include The Reclamation Project, and The Fo’tet Plays Monk (Evidence); Back to Stay Triangular 2 (Sirocco Jazz); The Art of War, Subliminal Seduction, Test of Time, The Fo'tet Augmented (Criss Cross); V, Triangular, Volition, Presents the Fo'tet, Ornetteology, Art (Blue Note); and Outer Reaches, The Duality Perspective, and ALIVE@ Firehouse 12 Vol. 1 (Onyx).
  • DVDs include Jazz Drumming Demystified
  • President, CEO, and owner of Onyx Productions Music Label