Ep 14: Ralph Peterson Jr (Part 1).: the living legacy of an art form
Jan 4, 2015 · 50 min
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Ralph Peterson Jr. is a renowned American jazz musician and a full-time professor at the Berklee School of Music.

I met Ralph at our Taekwondo school in 2005. Both of us still practice regularly at O'Malley Tae Kwon Do Center. Ralph often volunteers his time to teach drumming to children during Summer and Winter camps at the TKD school.  All the kids thoroughly enjoyed Ralph's teaching very much. I remember seeing their faces pressed up against the school's window waiting for Ralph to arrive with this truck full of drum sets and equipment.

Ralph believes that it's his responsibility to pass his knowledge to the next generation. Passing down his knowledge is the way for Ralph to preserve the traditions he loves."In order to keep a gift, you have to be willing to give it away."

Speaking from his experience, Ralph has apprenticed under some of the greatest jazz musicians of our time including Art Blakey, Betty Carter, Elvin Jones, and Walter Davis. It is also important to study some of the less known drummers who may not be household names as part of the continuum of our music history. "Once you understand this process, you will have a better sense of what the possibilities are going forward. If not, you can 'bump into' things by accident, and you might even become popular." Ralph says, "What's most important to me is to help my students sustain a 30-year career in music, not just releasing a single record."

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