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John Ramsay
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Artist Biography

Everything you need to know in one spot.

  • Band/Affiliation:
  • School / Univ. / Institution: Berklee College of Music
  • Country: United States
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John Ramsay is a drummer, recording artist, author, educator and clinician. A native of Northampton, Massachusetts, John has been playing and studying drums for the past 36 years. John Ramsay serves as the chair of the percussion faculty at the Berklee College of Music.

As a student at University of Massachusetts with a major in Afro-American Music and Jazz, John studied under the legendary drummer Max Roach. Since then, John has studied with such illustrious musicians such as Art Blakey, Alan Dawson, Ed Soph and Bob Moses. John is a lifetime learner. A consummate educator, John is in his eighteenth year of teaching at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.

In addition he has taught and conducted clinics in France, Italy, Japan, Finland, Greece, Israel and Germany, as well as numerous workshops throughout the United States.

For the last four years John has been conducting research and studying in Cuba with masters such as Enrique Pla, Jose Eladio, and Jose Luis "Changuito" Quintana.

As a performer, John Ramsay has worked with Wynton and Brandford Marsalis, Kevin and Robin Eubanks, Walter Booker, Terrence Blanchard, Cecil McBee, Eartha Kitt, and Gregory Hines among others. Most recently, John has performed in Europe with Donald Harrison and Mick Goodrick. John is featured with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers Big Band on the compact disc entitled "The history of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers,” and the 1980 release Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers Big Band "Live in Montreux and the Northsea.”

He served as a producer for Art Blakey's album "Oh by the way" and "Album of the Year". John can be heard on the 1993 debut release for tenor saxophonist Les Arbuckle, No more No Les, and on saxophonist Andy McGhee's first release as a leader, “Could It Be.” He is the author of the numerous publications including "Art Blakey's Jazz Messages "and "The Drummer's Complete Vocabulary As Taught by Alan Dawson", both available from Warner bros. Publications.

He currently resides in Lexington, Massachusetts with his two sons, Evan and Niko.

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