Born in New Jersey, drummer Ralph Peterson started playing drums at the age of three. He learned to read sheet music at age seven in order to study trumpet. In 1980, Peterson was accepted at Rutgers University in New Jersey to study jazz. He took lessons there from, among others, Kenny Barron, Paul Jeffrey and Michael Carvin. The drummer acquired the necessary experience by working with many jazz celebrities, including Art Blakey, Uri Caine, Tom Harrell, the Elvin Jones Jazz Machine, Branford Marsalis and Michael Brecker. His first CD recordings took place in 1985 with the Blue Note band OTB (Out of the Blue). Soon after, Blue Note contracted him as a bandleader and he produced 6 CDs. He earned the prestigious Swing Journal Gold Disc Award with his debut V. In recent years, Peterson recorded two albums for the Dutch Criss Cross Jazz label: The Art of War (2001) and Subliminal Seduction (2002).