Independent - United States
OverviewRicky Sebastian was born in Opelousas, Louisiana. He started taking drum lessons at the age of eight. Throughout junior and senior high school, he studied classical percussion winning many All-State, All-Parish, and Sight-reading awards. Ricky began playing drumset at fifteen years old. He attended the University of Southwestern Louisiana (classical theory, composition, drums) on a full scholarship and later attended Berklee College of Music (drums, arranging, composition).
Ricky returned to New Orleans in 1976 and started working professionally. In the next six years, he gained experience playing different styles such as Jazz, Afro-Cuban, Traditional New Orleans music, Carnival music, Brazilian, Reggae, Calypso, Funk, Rock, R&B, Cajun, and Zydeco.
He moved to New York City in 1983 where he built a career as an in demand recording and touring artist. Ricky was an instructor at the world renowned Drummers Collective and also the New School, both located in New York City.
Ricky moved back to New Orleans in 1999 and taught at the University of New Orleans under the direction of Ellis Marsalis. In New Orleans, Ricky joined forces with Los Hombres Calientes and Donald Harrison, Jr., and continues to perform with both ensembles to this day.
In 2004, he returned to New York City, where he re-established his teaching tenure at the Drummers Collective. Ricky has held clinics in universities and music stores throughout the United States. He has also held clinics and masterclasses at venues in Europe and Japan. Ricky has just released a new drum method book entitled The Independent Drummer.
Ricky has numerous recording credits to his name (see recording credits). And he has appeared on PBS (1996/1997) with Harry Belafonte and on various television broadcasts in Europe and Japan (1991 - 1998) with Tania Maria.
Ricky has performed with a who's who of the music world, including Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Mike Stern, Jaco Pastorius, Exuma, Paul Butterfield, Leo Nocentelli, Dori Cayimi, Les McCann, Michael Franks, Nnenna Freelon, Harry Belafonte, Dr. John, Charles Neville, Emily Remler, Jerry Gonzalez, Dave Valentin, Chico Freeman, Larry Coryell, David "Fathead" Newman, Vanessa Rubin, Dianne Reeves, Blood, Sweat, & Tears, Sam Rivers, Ellis Marsalis, Bobby McFerrin, John Scofield, Claudio Roditi, Chuck Rainey, John Lucien, Charles Fambrough, Delmar Brown, George Porter, Jr., Othello Molineaux, Leni Stern, Herbie Mann, Tania Maria, Cornell Dupree, Don Alias, Kevin Mahogany, Donald Harrison, Jr., Carlos Malta, JoAnne Brackeen, Los Hombres Calientes, Clarence Johnson III, and the Joe Krown Organ Combo.
He's working ensemble includes some of the finest musicians in New Orleans, including Chris Severen, Clarence Johnson III, and Darrell Lavigne. His recording for STR Digital Records, The Spirit Within, features this ensemble plus the talents of Donald Harrison, Jr., Bill Summers, Steve Masakowski, Randy Brecker, Alex Foster, Peter Martin, Roland Guerin, Irvin Mayfield, Charles Blenzig, Sergio Brandao, Bill White, Lenny Underwood, Lawrence Seiberth, Kenyatta Simon and Ed Anderson. The CD features Ricky's original material together with selections that lend themselves to his Latin flavored arrangements. The Spirit Within was released on May 4, 2001 and is now available.