Ralph MacDonald

Ralph MacDonald at Metropolitan Café

On May 10, 2005 percussionist and songwriter Ralph MacDonald appeared with an all-star group of New York musicians at the Metropolitan Café on First Avenue and 53rd Street.

According to Ralph, on Tuesday evenings this venue is the new Mikell's, the club at Columbus Avenue and 97th Street where performers like Chaka Khan made such memorable music.

The group was led by drummer Chris Parker and included Dave Mann on sax, Clifford Carter, keyboards, and Will Lee on Bass, with Ralph MacDonald on percussion.

MacDonald's first big break was with Harry Belafonte, which led to work with artists like Ashford & Simpson, the Bee Gees, David Bowie, Brecker Brothers, Hall & Oates, Billy Joel, Bob James, Bonnie Raitt, Paul Simon, and Steely Dan, to name a few. Since 1988 most of his time on the road has been with Jimmy Buffett's Coral Reef Band.

MacDonald has also enjoyed great success as a songwriter: he co-wrote "Where Is the Love," "Just the Two of Us," and "Mr. Magic." In addition to playing on countless hit albums, Ralph has recorded his own albums of which "Home Grown" is the latest.

I met Ralph in 1976 when he was recording the Layers album of Les McCann. We became great friends and he has remained a devoted LP® supporter from the time we first met. It was in his studio, Rosebud on Broadway and 48th Street that I recorded 4 of my favorite recordings: Authority, Ready for Freddy, Buyu and Perico.

To see exclusive photos from this event, please click here.