March 15, 1944 - December 18, 2011
Ralph Mac Donald was a gifted musician, composer, percussionist and friend to us. Though we are saddened by his passing, and will sorely miss his sense of humor and warmth, we know this his memory will always be preserved in the legacy of beautiful and timeless music that he left behind as a gift for us all to enjoy.
Few have the power and versatility that Ralph MacDonald possessed. Ralph, a Grammy award-winning artist, an endorser for Latin Percussion for nearly 40 years and was one of LP Founder Martin Cohen’s friends and sounding boards for new products. Martin began bringing prototypes of instruments for MacDonald to play in the 1970's. "There has always been a real camaraderie of company, product and player at LP," said Ralph.
Ralph’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 had been with Jimmy Buffett's Coral Reef Band.
Some people may not know of MacDonald's great success as a songwriter. He co-wrote the Roberta Flack/Donny Hathaway hit “Where Is The Love”, and Grover Washington, Jr.’s, platinum hit “Just The Two Of Us”. Mac Donald also wrote the song “Holiday” for Jimmy Buffett's Banana Wind album. The songwriting had been a bonus, Ralph once said. "I just wanted to play some music. I was playing on everybody's record and just got the chance to spread it out."