Basic Background Info

Birth: Unknown
Location: Northampton , Massachusetts
Band: Art Blakey, Simple Minds
Genres: Jazz
Instruments: Drums
Occupation: Musician, Instructor, Educator, Author


Drummer, author, and educator John Ramsay has been drumming since 1962. A self-taught rock drummer, John Ramsay has branched out and become versed in many different genres.

In his early days, John Ramsay studied with illustrious musicians like Max Roach, Alan Dawson, Art Blakey, Ed Soph, and Bob Moses. John Ramsay graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a major in Afro-American music and jazz. 

Currently, John Ramsay is Head of the Percussion Department at Berklee College of Music in Massachusetts. John Ramsay has also led and taught clinics in Japan, Italy, Finland, France, Israel, Greece, and Germany, in addition to the astounding number of U.S. workshops. As an author, Ramsay has written numerous educational texts, including The Drummer's Complete Vocabulary as Taught by Alan Dawson. Recently, John Ramsay has studied and conducted research in Cuba with Enrique Pla, Jose Luis Quintana, and Jose Eladio.

Aside from his many educational and written endeavors, John Ramsay has performed with Gregory Hines, Kevin Eubanks, Robin Eubanks, Wynton Marsalis, Brandford Marsalis, Cecil McBee, Terrence Blanchard, Eartha Kit, Donald Harrison, and Mick Goodrick. John Ramsay's talents are not limited to drumming, as he is also an accomplished producer and bandleader on an envious catalogue of albums.


Album Year Album Name Album Band
1970 Human Beast, Vol. One Human Beast
1981 Album of the Year Art Blakey
1982 New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84) Simple Minds
1994 Until Further Notice... The Steve Rochinski Quartet
2002 Flowers of Edinburgh Various Artists


  • John has two sons, Evan and Niko.

Instruments of Choice



Drums: Drum Workshop
Cymbals: Zildjian
Hardware: Drum Workshop

Pics & Clips