Austin Peralta

Real Name:Austin Topper Peralta

Austin Peralta (25 Oct 1990, Los Angeles — 21 Nov 2012, Los Angeles) was a notable American jazz pianist, composer, improviser and band leader. He was the son of a retired professional skateboarder and filmmaker Stacy Peralta. Peralta was a touring member of The Cinematic Orchestra. Taking classical piano lessons since he was six, Peralta immediately fell in love with jazz after a friend shared Bill Evans CD with him. He studied music at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California and later took lessons with an iconic jazz pianist Alan Pasqua and saxophonist Buddy Collette.

In 2003, a thirteen-year-old Austin Peralta won the Shelly Manne Memorial New Talent Award from the L.A. Jazz Society, presented to him by Quincy Jones. In the mid-2000s, Peralta began regularly performing with various jazz musicians and ensembles, such as the Gerald Wilson Orchestra, at The Jazz Bakery, The Blue Whale club in Little Tokyo, Charlie O's, The Baked Potato, Catalina's Bar And Grill, and other Greater LA area jazz venues. He soon formed The Hour Trio, which self-released their debut album Inta' Out, with a special guest Ralph "Buzzy" Jones on sax, in March 2005.

In 2006, just turning sixteen, Austin Peralta made his international debut at Tokyo Jazz Festival, performing with his Hour Trio (featuring Ronald Bruner Jr. on drums), a Japanese pianist Hiromi Uehara, and sharing the stage with headliners Chick Corea and Hank Jones. The same year, Peralta was signed by a Japanese label Eighty-Eight's and released his solo debut, Maiden Voyage SACD/LP, in Feb 2006. He recorded the album, mainly featuring jazz standards and only one Peralta composition, in Sept 2005 with legendary bassist Ron Carter and Billy Kilson on drums. Austin Peralta recorded his second album in Oct 2006 with Buster Williams (bass), Ronald Bruner Jr. (drums), Steve Nelson (vibraphone), and Marcus Strickland (sax), which featured four original tracks and came out as Mantra SACD in Dec 2006. He performed at the Java Jazz Festival in Indonesia a few months later, in March 2007.

In 2009, after graduating with honours from the Crossroads School, Santa Monica, California, Peralta accepted a scholarship at The New School, NYC. However, he dropped out after a year and returned to Southern California to pursue his oeuvre. Around 2010, his friend and collaborator David Wexler (Dr. Strangeloop) introduced Peralta to Steven Ellison, best-known as Flying Lotus and founder of Brainfeeder. Peralta soon joined the FlyLo label's roster and released his final album, Endless Planets, in February 2011. A few months before the release, Austin Peralta formed a new ensemble, Deathgasm, inspired by his interest in "Bardo Thodol" (the Tibetan "Book of the Dead") and its interpretation in Enter the Void film by Gaspar Noé. Peralta's septet featured Miguel Atwood-Ferguson (violin/viola), Sam Gendel (saxophone), Ryan McGillicuddy (bass), Zach Harmon (drums/tabla), Earnest Blount (laptop/electronics), and Ben Olsen (2) (visuals). Deathgasm Ensemble performed at Peralta's album release party in Feb 2011 at Futura (Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock). In May 2012, Austin Peralta released Views Of Saturn Vol.2 12" on Dublin-based All City Records (3) with electronic rendition of Sun Ra's 'Space Loneliness #2,' which he produced and recorded together with Strangeloop and Earnest Blount. In Oct 2012, Peralta opened for Robert Glasper Experiment at UCLA's Royce Hall.

In November 2012, Peralta suddenly died from viral pneumonia at age 22. One night before he passed, Austin played piano with Natasha Agrama's band at Little Tokyo's Blue Whale club in Los Angeles.

Sites:Wikipedia , , , , MySpace
In Groups:Jazz Collective (2)
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