11/25/12

Austin Peralta, Pianist and Composer, Dies at 22

A prodigy in his teens, he had recently teamed with producer Flying Lotus

Austin Peralta, a pianist and composer who had already made an outsized impression despite being only 22, died Nov. 21. The cause and place of death were not divulged.

Born Oct. 25, 1990, Peralta, who lived in Los Angeles and was the son of pro skater and filmmaker Stacy Peralta, was equally adept at acoustic piano and in a fusion setting incorporating hip-hop and electronica elements. He began taking piano lessons at age 5, first studying classical music and then moving to jazz, studying with pianist Alan Pasqua and saxophonist Buddy Collette.

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Austin Peralta

Peralta won the Los Angeles Jazz Society’s Shelly Manne New Talent Award in 2003. He appeared at the 2006 Tokyo Jazz Festival with his trio and played on sessions for Erykah Badu, the Cinematic Orchestra and others.

Peralta released his first album, Maiden Voyage, for Sony Japan in 2006, with Ron Carter on bass and Billy Kilson on drums. That was followed later the same year by Mantra (Sony Japan), with Steve Nelson (vibes), Marcus Strickland (tenor/soprano saxes), Buster Williams (bass) and Ronald Bruner, Jr. (drums). Upon graduating high school Peralta went to New York to study briefly at the New School, but he returned to L.A. where, in 2011, he began an affiliation with producer Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder label, which released his third album, Endless Planets. Peralta contributed to Flying Lotus’ 2012 album Until the Quiet Comes and was reportedly working on a new album of his own for the imprint at the time of his death.

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