Ralph Humphrey

Ralph Humphrey

Department Head & Faculty
Drum Performance


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Ralph has been a working professional musician/drummer and teacher in the Los Angeles area spanning more than 55 years. As a member of the Don Ellis big band, Frank Zappa and the Mothers in Invention, as well as working with Al Jarreau, The Manhattan Transfer, Babaghanoush, Free Flight, The Outsidemen, Natalie Cole, The Tierney Sutton Band, and locally with the greats of Mendocino County, and a host of other individuals and groups, he proves himself as a versatile player who looks for challenges in all kinds of music.

His most current projects include being a member of The Odd Dogs, a band that just recently released a CD under the Manasus Music label and a group that will be featured at this years MMF.

Ralph has had an active recording career as a sideman for many live and recorded projects, including the hit TV show Dancing With The Stars, the Oscars, the Fox TV shows Family Guy, The Simpsons and American Dad, Warner Bros. cartoons, including Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, Tweety and Sylvester and Historia and multiple motion pictures. Ralph has also composed and arranged music for TV and other recorded projects. Ralph has taught privately and publicly for decades and is currently the Drum Dept. chair at the prestigious Los Angeles College of Music, a position he has held since the school’s inception in 1996. He, along with his long-time partner Joe Porcaro created the curriculum for the department. He has also authored two drum method books, the first called ‘Even in the Odds’ and published by Barnhouse and the most recent one called, “Rhythm By The Numbers”, published by Alfred.

Ralph proudly endorses Yamaha drums, Zildjian cymbals, Remo drumheads, Vic Firth drumsticks and Prologic practice pads.


Bachelor of Music | San Jose State University
Master of Arts in Music | San Fernando Valley State College (currently Cal State, Northridge)