Dutch jazz drummer Peter Ypma, who played with the late, acclaimed 'first lady of jazz' Rita Reys for more than 25 years, passed away today. He was 71 years old.
Peter was sixteen when he bought his first drum kit and dropped out of high school. A year later he played at the Holland-America Line, was introduced to the American jazz scene and played in New York with jazz greats like Art Pepper, Monty Alexander, Dexter Gordon and Ben Webster.
After his graduation as classical percussionist in 1962, Peter drummed with the Dutch Swing College Band, Rob van Kreveld, and Trio Pim Jacobs, the Metropole Orchestra, Rogier van Otterloo, the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra plus several small jazz groups.
In the eighties Peter started as a teacher at the Rotterdam Conservatory, helping new generations of drummers to become professional musicians.