Ralf Gustke
May 8, 1964
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Zoro



© Ronn Dunnett












Ralf Gustke

Born May 08.1964 in Heidelberg, Germany.

Ralf began playing at the age of 10, first experimenting with selfmade drum sets composed of tin cans and a soap containers. He started out by playing to the music of the local American radio station AFN, who aired a lot of R&B, Rock, Funk, Jazz and Soul.

At the age of 12 he joined the local music corp and there learned how to read music, the rudiments of theory and stick control.

He got his first drumset when he was 13, and then after begging his mother he began drum lessons.

In 1980 - 85 he played in many Garage bands and began gigging in the various American clubs in the Mannheim & Heidelberg area.

Despite growing up in the influence of a musical environment Ralf is basically self-taught (an autodidact).

He then took part in the newcomer contest of the DRUMMER MEETING KOBLENZ 1986 and won the upper circle. Around the same time he joined the  LYDIE AUVRAY group ( musette,jazz ) and toured in Germany, France and Switzerland. This lead him to gig with one of the greatest female Singers of all time CHAKA KHAN with Ralf´s own band ZEBRA playing support. Performing at  jazz-festivals in Denmark, Sweden , France, Italy, Austria and Switzerland, while also touring in Japan  introduced him to an international Audience.

Simultaneously he  was working in studios for many artists like WOLF MAAHN, SIX WAS NINE, FRANK NIMSGERN, the Austrian Singer GEORG DANZER and Ralf´s own project CULTURE CROSS (signed with EMI ELECTROLA) and ZEBRA.

In 1993 - 96 he joined the Italian Singer GIANNA NANNINI to tour and record in Italy.

On his return from Italy he started working with 3P, considered the most exciting Hip-Hop Label in Germany/Frankfurt at that time. Within that constellation he worked in the studio and on tour for SABRINA SETLUR, MOSES PELHAM and GLASHAUS.

This period also included Studio recordings for: NENA, EDO ZANKI, LOTHAR KOSSE, GOSPELFIRE, KEVIN COYNE, CULTURE BEAT, GIL, NORM STRAUSS, TOM LANE and many more. Even while working in the studio that time he was also touring with the Acid-Jazz project DE PHAZZ across Europe.

In 1999 he met XAVIER NAIDOO  and to date Ralf  works for him as a drummer and  as Musical Director on tour and studio. Ralf is also a member of the multicultured Band SÖHNE MANNHEIMS since 2000.

Ralf has also built himself a reputation as a solo performer/clinican. He has appeared at Drum Festivals like RHYTHM MARKTOBERDORF (1992, 2002), WORLD DRUM FEST HAMBURG (1998),YAMAHA DRUM NIGHT COLOGNE (1999), DRUMMER-MEETING KOBLENZ (2000) , MUSIK MESSE FRANKFURT (1996,1997,2001) and many more. Recently he took part in the PPC DRUM NIGHT HANNOVER (2006), and so he was featured amongst the greatest names of the drumming community today (TERRY BOZZIO, STEVE SMITH, JOEY HEREDIA, ED THIGPEN, BILLY COBHAM, GERRY BROWN, DAVE WECKL,VIRGIL DONATI, ZORO etc.)

December 2006: Ralf Gustke announces his important switch in cymbals from Anatolian to Meinl.....






performed with:

Söhne Mannheims
Xavier Naidoo
Schiller
Lydie Auvrey
Wolf Maahn
Georg Danzer
Gianna Nannini
Chaka Kahn
Sabrina Setlur
Edo Zanki
Lothar Kosse
Nena
Zebra
Frank Nimsgern
Clemens Bittlinger
Judy Bailey
Thomas Kagermann
Yasmina Sharona
Elke Reichert
Anja Lehmann
Matthias Heimlicher
Martin Pepper
Anne Haigis
Six Was Nine
Marianne Rosenberg


....and many more


























Meinl Drumfestival 2007
© Bernhard Castiglioni - Drummerworld





Meinl Drumfestival 2007
© Bernhard Castiglioni - Drummerworld





Meinl Drumfestival 2007
© Bernhard Castiglioni - Drummerworld














Meinl Drumfestival 2007
© Bernhard Castiglioni - Drummerworld


























Ralf Gustke & the Pro Percussion Team:
Claude Conradi - Ralf Gustke - Beat Schürpf - Bela Szigeti














Ralf Gustke
Yamaha Signature Snare






Meinl Drumfestival 2007
© Bernhard Castiglioni - Drummerworld



Meinl Drumfestival 2007
© Bernhard Castiglioni - Drummerworld









Meinl Drumfestival 2007
© Bernhard Castiglioni - Drummerworld