The Ralph Peterson Jr. Musical Legacy is honored to be a part of the Winter JazzFest lineup, celebrating the many contributions drummer Ralph Peterson made to the festival over the years. Peterson, a master drummer, bandleader, and composer, died on March 1, 2021, following a six-year battle with cancer. Ralph Peterson continued to advance the continuum of his late mentor, Art Blakey, on a 2020 release, Onward & Upward, his ambitious and expansive 25th release as a leader. On this historic occasion, Peterson brought together 14 former Jazz Messengers and three Legacy Messengers to write a new page in the Jazz Messenger songbook. While Onward & Upward is rooted in the Blakey tradition, it is decidedly forward-thinking as it features all new material written by the band members. For this evening’s presentation, one of Ralph’s core bands, The Messenger Legacy, and special guests will pay homage to this album and to a master who left us too soon.
PERFORMANCE LINEUP Bill Pierce, tenor saxophone Craig Handy, alto saxophone Brian Lynch, trumpet Essiet Essiet, bass Tyshawn Sorey, drums Anthony Wonsey, piano with special guest Tia Fuller, saxophone