Ralph Humphrey

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Ralph Humphrey. Photo featured in The Roxy Performances sleeve.

Ralph Humphrey (Berkeley California, 11 May 1944) is an American drummer. He recorded with the Don Ellis Big Band in 1968, while still a student at California State College, Northridge, and stayed with the band until 1973. His name has been spelled differently in some credits, sometimes as Humphry, Humphrey or Humphries.


Humphrey joined Frank Zappa's band in 1973. His drumming can be heard on Over-Nite Sensation, Apostrophe ('), Roxy & Elsewhere, You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 1, You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 3, You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 4 You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 6, Piquantique (BTB), Unmitigated Audacity (BTB), The Lost Episodes and Läther.

He is interviewed in the documentary The Drummers Of Frank Zappa (2010).

Post-Zappa career

Humphrey has played drums for artists as diverse as Wayne Shorter, Al Jarreau, Manhattan Transfer, Barbra Streisand, José Feliciano, Bette Midler, Captain and Tenille, Richard Carpenter,... His music can be heard in TV series such as American Idol, Charmed, The Simpsons, Family Guy,...

He is also a teacher at the Los Angeles Music Academy, teaching the drum curriculum. He and Joe Porcaro also created the drum program for the Percussion Institute of Technology, a part of the Musicians Institute in Hollywood, Ca. Between 1980 and 1996 he taught the program and headed the department.

External links