Jazz Faculty: Ralph Lalama

Tenor saxophonist Ralph Lalama is well known through such luminary bands as the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, Joe Lovano Nonet, Woody Herman, Buddy Rich and Jon Faddis. DownBeat’s Zan Stewart said, “Lalama is a grand, modern-minded storyteller…a first-class jazz soloist.” He has earned three Grammys and has eights CDs as a leader, five of them on the Criss-Cross Jazz label. His two from the Mighty Quinn label, Energy Fields (2008) and The Audience (2010) received great reviews.

His latest, The Lalama Brothers: Erie Avenue, co-led with his brother, pianist Dave Lalama, was released in the fall of 2011. It features Peter Washington (b), Kenny Washington (d) and special guest Joe Lovano (G mezzo soprano). His impact as a jazz educator is made evident by the evolution and success of his many students through his decades-long association with NYU.