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[[Peter Erskine & Michel Benita|250px]]
Peter Erskine & Michel Benita

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Peter Erskine (born June 5, 1954) is an American jazz drummer and composer. He has enjoyed a long and successful career as a session drummer, recording and touring with many famous jazz and rock artists, including Steely Dan and Weather Report. Erskine also produces teaching materials, such as books, videos, and online content.


File:Wayne Shorter & Peter Erskine.jpg

+ Erskine was born in Somers Point, New Jersey, U.S. He began playing the drums at the age of four. He graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy[1] in Michigan, then studied percussion at Indiana University.

His professional career started in 1972 when he joined the Stan Kenton Orchestra.[1] After three years with Kenton he joined Maynard Ferguson for two years. In 1978 he joined Weather Report,[1][2] joining the legendary Jaco Pastorius to form a formidable rhythm section. After four years and five albums with Weather Report and the Jaco Pastorius big band Word of Mouth, he joined Steps Ahead. His big band recordings with the Bob Mintzer Big Band are excellent modern big band jazz/funk performances studied by many students of drums and drumming.

His music-style spanning talent also features on Kate Bush's 2005 album Aerial, where Erskine teams with bass player Eberhard Weber. Diana Krall, Eliane Elias, Queen Latifah and Linda Ronstadt among many more still choose Peter for his multifaceted musicality. Even Scottish and Finnish Classical Orchestras have had him as a featured musician.

Today, Erskine splits his time as a musician and that of a professor at the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California.

In 1983, he performed on the Antilles Records release Swingrass '83.[3]

In 2011 he appeared on stage at the Royal Opera House, London in the new opera Anna Nicole. [4]


As leaderEdit

  • 1982 Peter Erskine (Contemporary, reissued on OJC)
  • 1987 Transition (Denon)
  • 1988 Motion Poet (Denon)
  • 1989 Aurora (Denon)
  • 1990 Big Theatre (Ah Um)
  • 1991 Sweet Soul (Novus, reissued on Fuzzy Music)
  • 1992 You Never Know (ECM)
  • 1993 Time Being (ECM)
  • 1994 History of the Drum (Interworld)
  • 1995 As It Is (ECM)
  • 1995 From Kenton to Now (Fuzzy Music)
  • 1998 Lava Jazz (Fuzzy Music)
  • 1998 Behind Closed Doors, Vol. 1 (Fuzzy Music)
  • 1998 Juni (ECM)
  • 2000 Live at Rocco (Fuzzy Music)
  • 2002 Badlands (Fuzzy Music)
  • 2003 Cologne (w/ Bill Dobbins and John Goldsby) (Fuzzy Music)
  • 2005 The Lounge Art Ensemble: Music for Moderns (Fuzzy Music)

As sidemanEdit

With John Abercrombie

With Warren Bernhardt

  • Warren Bernhardt Trio (1983)

With Randy Brecker/Michael Brecker

  • Some Skunk Funk (2005)

With Gary Burton

With Kate Bush

With George Cables

  • Cables Vision (1982)

With Pino Daniele

  • Passi d'autore (2004)

With Eddie Daniels

  • Benny Rides Again (1992)

With Al Di Meola

  • Orange and Blue (1994)
  • The Infinite Desire (1998)

With Marty Ehrlich

  • Relativity (1999)

With Joe Farrell

  • Sonic Text (1979)

With Maynard Ferguson

  • Conquistador (1977)

With Alessandro Galati

  • Jason Salad! (1997)

With Jan Garbarek

With Yelena Eckemoff

  • Cold Sun (L & H Production, 2010)
  • Flying Steps (L & H Production, 2010)
  • Glass Song (L & H Production, 2013)

With Giorgio

  • Party of the Century (2010)

With Gordon Goodwin

  • Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band XXL (2003)

With Don Grolnick

  • Weaver of Dreams (1990)

With Bobby Hutcherson

With Marc Johnson

With Rickie Lee Jones

With Stan Kenton

  • National Anthems of the World (1972)
  • Stan Kenton Plays Chicago (1974)
  • Fire, Fury, and Fun (1974)

With Diana Krall

With Rolf Kühn

  • Internal Eyes (2003)

With Christof Lauer

  • Christof Lauer (1989)

With Nguyên Lê

  • Miracles (1996)
  • E_L_B (2004)
  • E_L_B - Dream Flight (2008)

With Manhattan Jazz Quintet

  • Funky Strut (1991)

With Mike Mainieri

  • American Diary (1994)

With Vince Mendoza

  • Start Here (1990)
  • Jazzpaña (1992)
  • Sketches (1993)

With Bob Mintzer

  • Quality Time (1998)

With Joni Mitchell

With Jaco Pastorius

With Gary Peacock

With Thomas Quasthoff

  • Watch What Happens (2007)

With Steely Dan

  • Alive in America (1995)

With Rod Stewart

With Steps Ahead

With Christoph Stiefel

  • Ancient Longing (1994)

With Ralph Towner

With Mark-Anthony Turnage/John Scofield

  • Scorched (2004)

With Weather Report

With Kenny Wheeler

With Joe Zawinul

  • Weather Update (2005)

With Linda Ronstadt

Books Edit

  • Time Awareness
  • The Erskine Method for Drumset
  • My Book
  • The Drum Perspective
  • Drum Concepts and Techniques

DVD Edit

  • The Erskine Method for Drumset (Alfred Publishing Company)


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Wynn, Ron. "Peter Erskine: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-06-04. 
  2. Wynn, Ron (2008-06-25). "Weather Report: Biography". All About Jazz. Retrieved 2010-06-04. 
  3. Allmusic review
  4. "Anna Nicole Review". The Guardian. 2008-06-25. Retrieved 2011-02-18. 
  5. Liner notes

External links Edit


Template:Weather Report


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