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Jazz Drummer Ralph Peterson to Appear with UMES Jazz Ensemble

  • Friday, February 26, 2010

    Ralph Peterson

    PRINCESS ANNE, MD-Ralph Peterson, a well-known jazz drummer and bandleader, appears with the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Jazz Ensemble on Wednesday, March 3, at 7 p.m. in the Ella Fitzgerald Center for the Performing Arts.

    "The annual Jazz Ensemble Concert allows the university to bring to the area a distinguished master jazz musician to perform with the UMES Jazz Ensemble; and to share their expertise with UMES students, area high school students and the community," said Dr. John Lamkin, professor and director of bands at UMES.

    Prior to the concert, Peterson will present a percussion clinic for area percussionists.  On Thursday, March 4, Peterson will present a percussion and jazz improvisation clinics to area students during the High School Jazz Ensemble Festival, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Students from Arundel, Washington, Calvert, Mead, Charles Flowers and Kent County high schools will compete for prizes and awards.

    Hailing from a family of drummers including four of his uncles and his grandfather, Peterson began playing the drums at the age of three in his hometown of Atlantic City.  For some 25 years, he has perfected his craft, garnering him a place among the jazz greats he has performed with.

    Peterson's career took off in the mid-eighties when he joined Art Blakey's Jazz Messenger Big Band.   Since then, he has toured and recorded with jazz artists Terrence Blanchard, Branford Marsalis, Stanley Turentine, David Murray, The Count Basie Orchestra, Betty Carter and Michael Brecker

    As an educator and mentor, he has influenced young artists such as Sean Jones.  Peterson is currently a full professor at Berklee College of Music, a visiting professor at Princeton University and an artist in residence at Prince Claus Conservatory in Holland. 

    In addition to Peterson, the UMES Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Lamkin will feature Megan Cetineo, who will sing several songs with the band.  The concert will also feature a rendition of Peterson's own composition, "The Art of War," as well as several big band favorites including Goodman's "Stompin at the Savoy,"  Ellington's "In a Mellow Tone" and Miles Davis' "Boplicity."

    The concert is $7 general admission and free for all area students.  For more information, call 410-651-6571.




    Gail Stephens, assistant director, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-651-7580, gcstephens@umes.edu.

     Photo:  Ralph Peterson