Peter Retzlaff is a New York City-based drummer. In his formative years, Peter studied with many influential teachers/performers such as Bob Breithaupt, David Garibaldi, Ed Soph, Jim Chapin, Gary Chaffee, John Riley, Kenny Washington, and Billy Hart. As a performer, Peter is equally at home in jazz, rock, funk, Brazilian, Afro-Cuban, Afro-Caribbean, odd meter, and New Orleans drumming styles. Peter has played with Kenny Werner, Greg Osby, Diane Schuur, Ray Vega, Maynard Ferguson, Pete McCann, Kim Bock, Loren Stillman, The BMI Big Band, The Jamie Begian Big Band, Billy Bang, Fred Hopkins, Steeplechase recording artists Flow, Matt Savage, Bo Diddley, Neil Diamond, The Drifters, The Coasters, Gloria Gaynor, American Idol finalists Melinda Doolittle, Jordan Sparks, Constantine Maroulis, and contemporary bassist and singer Adeline Michele.
As an educator, Peter is the Dean of the Drummers Collective at the Collective School of Music, and a full-time instructor. As a school curriculum director, Peter created material for several Collective programs. As an instructor, Peter teaches private lessons as well as classes in jazz, rock, funk-RnB, Brazilian, Afro-Cuban, and Afro-Caribbean drumming styles. In addition, he teaches classes in reading, chart interpretation, brushes, soloing, rudiments, and technique (fundamental concepts, Moeller, and push pull), and he teaches ensemble repertoire and performance in varied styles. Peter is also an adjunct instructor at the New School in New York City.
Peter is the author of two books, Turn It Up and Lay It Down: Baby Steps to Giant Steps (Hudson Music) and Contemporary Jazz Styles for Drums (Carl Fischer).
Peter received a B.A. in Jazz and Commercial Music and a B.A. in Business Administration from Capital University. He also received a M.M. in Jazz Studies from the Manhattan School of Music.
The recipient of three National Endowment for the Arts Grants, Peter is a clinician for Sabian Cymbals, Canopus Drums, Innovative Percussion, Remo, and Prologix Percussion.