The music world is today mourning the loss of the extraordinary young jazz pianist, Austin Peralta, after confirmation came through overnight that he had died.
The announcement was made by Flying Lotus, who heads up the Brainfeeder record label that was releasing Peralta’s music and with whom Austin was collaborating at the time of his death, the details of which remain private.
Trained in classical piano from age five, Austin was the recipient of the Shelly Manne New Talent Award, given by the Los Angeles Jazz Society in 2003. The musical prodigy first drew international attention in 2006 when he and his trio played at the Tokyo Jazz Festival, where, at only 15, he also played with Chick Corea, Hiromi Uehara and many other major stars of jazz and jazz fusion.
Legendary bassists Ron Carter and Buster Williams featured on his first album, Maiden Voyage, and his second, Mantra, respectively, both released in 2006.
Peralta appeared on the track ‘DMT Song’ on Flying Lotus’ album Until the Quiet Comes, released in September this year. Collaborating with artists like Flying Lotus, Erykah Badu and many others across several genres, he was recognised for integrating jazz with instrumental hip-hop and electronica. On his Myspace page, Austin’s long list of influences ranged from Mozart to Hendrix.
Tributes have been flowing in via Twitter and other social media sources since reports of his death were confirmed, with the news clearly moving everyone, from fellow jazz pianist Robert Glasper to the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s bassist, Flea, who referred to Peralta as a “transcendent musician.”
Austin was the son of the Z-Boy skateboarder and film director Stacy Peralta.
Brainfeeder has created a tribute site to honour him.
Watch the video of his outstanding performance in 2006 at the Tokyo Jazz Festival below.