Autopsy: Austin Peralta, Jazz Pianist and Flying Lotus Collaborator, Died Of Pneumonia Aggravated By Drugs & Alcohol
The autopsy for Austin Peralta, the jazz piano prodigy who performed alongside jazz legends Chick Corea and Omar Hakim at the ripe age of 15, reveals details about how he died just the day before Thanksgiving.
The coroner's office lists Peralta's cause of death as viral pneumonia, but alcohol and drugs in his system also contributed to his death, according to LA Weekly. Peralta had a blood alcohol level of .09, as well as a cocktail of depressants: Valium, Xanax, Promethazine, Nordiazepam, codeine and morphine. His death is considered an accident and not a suicide.
Deputy Medical Examiner J. Daniel Augustine wrote:
"After review of the available case circumstances, and complete autopsy with toxicology and microscopy the cause of death is attributed to probable viral pneumonia with reactive airway changes (airway remodeling). The effects of ethanol (alcohol) and multiple drugs are listed as contributory conditions. The mechanism of death is the result of respiratory depression, caused by the combined effects of the underlying natural disease processes and external factors (ethanol and drug effects). The manner of death is an accident."
The LA Weekly interviewed some of the people closest to Peralta and they noted that he had been running a fever and coughing since mid-October. However, his performance on the evening of Tuesday, November 20—the day before he died—seemed to go off without a hitch. The video is above.
He went out to Bar Marmont the night before with friends and drove home (probably very intoxicated) around 3 am. He had some pasta before falling asleep around 5:45 am. At 1 pm, his roommate checked on Peralta who had stopped breathing and had turned blue. He called 9-1-1, and was rushed to the hospital but was pronounced dead at 2:23 pm.