Ricky Sebastian is one of the premier musicians and music instructors in the world today. Born in Opelousas, Louisiana, he started taking drum lessons at the age of eight and excelled at an accelerated rate due to the tutelage of two great band directors: Carl DeLeo and Carl Schexnayder. Ricky spent years as the section leader for the drum line in every school he attended into college. He also started piano studies at the age of 17 while in college. He attended the University of Southwestern Louisiana on a full scholarship and later attended Berklee College of Music in Boston on a partial scholarship. Ricky returned to New Orleans in 1976 and started working professionally with all the great musicians in every musical genre that the city had to offer. In the next six years, he gained experience playing different styles of music such as Jazz, Afro-Cuban, Traditional New Orleans music, Carnival music, Brazilian, Reggea, Calypso, Funk, Rock, R&B, Cajun, and Zydeco. After exhausting his musical possibilities in New Orleans, Ricky decided to move to New York City in 1983 as most of his musical idols lived there. Over the following 18 years, Ricky built a career as an in demand recording and touring artist with a who’s who in Jazz, Latin, Brazilian, Funk, New Orleans and Louisiana music, Fusion, and the list goes on. He moved back to New Orleans in 1998 and was the head percussion instructor at the University of New Orleans under the direction of Ellis Marsalis.
He’s released his first CD as a leader in 2001 entitled “The Spirit Within” on STR Digital Records featuring the likes of Donald Harrison Jr., Bill Summers, Steve Masakowski, Randy Brecker, and Peter Martin. He has also released a drum set instruction book/CD entitled “Independence on the Drum Set”, published by Hal Leonard in 2005. He is an active clinician for Zildjian cymbals, Pearl Drums, LP percussion, Remo drumheads, Audix Microphones, and Pro-Mark drumsticks.
Ricky has also taught private lessons and group classes (many of which he implemented and created the course material) for the infamous “Drummer’s Collective”, and “The New School for Social Research”, both located in New York City.
Currently an instructor at the University of New Orleans, Ricky has spearheaded “The World Music Ensemble” and “The UNO Percussion Ensemble”. In both classes, Ricky writes much of the music that each ensemble performs. He is also on the faculty of the Heritage School of Music in New Orleans.