Drummer and bandleader Ralph Peterson Jr has died at the age of 58. Cause of death was as a result of complications from cancer, according to his publicist Lydia Liebman. Tributes online include this from Terence Blanchard who also tweeted a picture of Peterson adding: ''This is my brother from our early days in music. Met him at Rutgers in 1980. We’ve been family ever since. Last night Ralph Peterson lost his battle with cancer. He fought as hard as anyone could. RIP brotha.''
This is my brother from our early days in music. Met him at Rutgers in 1980. We’ve been family ever since. Last night Ralph Peterson lost his battle with cancer. He fought as hard as anyone could. RIP brotha. pic.twitter.com/W1LaJoPs59— Terence Blanchard (@T_Blanchard) March 1, 2021
Chris' Jazz Club in Philadelphia tweeted: ''With a heavy heart, we say goodbye to a good friend of Chris' Jazz Cafe who lost his battle with cancer. We are extending our thoughts, prayers, and condolences to Ralph Peterson Jr. and his loved ones during this time.''
Peterson appeared on David Murray album Spirituals released in 1988, one of a number of albums with the saxophonist.
Selected by Art Blakey (1919-1990) to be his backup drummer up to his final years, down the decades Peterson appeared on many albums including records by Michael Brecker, Roy Hargrove, Terence Blanchard, Branford Marsalis, David Murray and Charles Lloyd. Under Peterson's own name he recorded more than 20 albums as a leader. As an educator he taught at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.