Peter Erskine is best known for his versatility and ardent love of working in various musical settings. He began his career at the age of 18 with the Stan Kenton Orchestra and has since played with such groups as Weather Report, Steps Ahead, Maynard Ferguson, Joni Mitchell, Steely Dan and the Yellowjackets, not to mention recording over 400 albums. He has also won numerous awards for his work, including a Grammy, the Modern Drummer Readers Poll, and an Honorary Doctor of Music Degree from the Berklee School of Music.
Peter Erskine recently celebrated his 50th birthday by playing the drums on Diana Krall's latest album ("The Girl in the Other Room") and world tour. Peter continues to present clinics whenever his schedule allows, and keeps busy in the recording studio when he's home. More recent projects include albums by Al Jarreau, Hugh Jackman, Queen Latifah and pianist Bill Dobbins (on Erskine's FUZZY MUSIC label), and playing on the film scores for "13 Going on 30" and "New York Minute."
In 2003 Zildjian, in collaboration with Peter, introduced the K Custom Left Side Ride. Conceived to be the Jazz Drummer's all-important "2nd" Ride, Peter explained how the idea for the Left Side Ride came about:
"I asked Zildjian to create a cymbal that could complement my Ride and Crash choices, a cymbal that would add a new dimension to my music, with warmth, clarity and variety but still with a unique sound: in short, a cymbal that could be my main Ride cymbal's "best friend"; and this is how the Left Side Ride was born."
Erskine is a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, and studied percussion with George Gaber at Indiana University. His own pedagogical efforts include four instructional videos as well as eight books, including: "Drumset Essentials, Vols. 1, 2 & 3 " (a trilogy of instructional methods), plus the "Erskine Method" book and DVD, "Essential Drum Fills" and "Time Awareness for All Musicians" (published by Alfred Music Publishing). Erskine's other books include "Drum Concepts & Techniques" and "The Drum Perspective", both published by the Hal Leonard Corp.
Erskine conducts clinics, classes and seminars worldwide. He is the Director of Drumset Studies at the USC Thornton School of Music, and is the Jazz Drumming Consultant to the Royal Academy of Music in London.