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Arts and Entertainment

Austin Peralta, Jazz Piano Prodigy and Flying Lotus Collaborator, Dead At 22

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Austin Peralta, a jazz pianist and composer who frequently collaborated with Flying Lotus, died on Wednesday night just days after his 22nd birthday.

Peralta was a jazz prodigy, who made a name for himself internationally before his 16th birthday. He released a critically-acclaimed album "Endless Planets" last year. He created his own compositions, but he also worked with Erykah Badu, Jaga Jazzist and the Cinematic Orchestra as well as Flying Lotus, according to Pitchfork. He was the son of professional skateboarder and director Stacy Peralta. The cause of death has not been confirmed.

The LA Weekly notes that Peralta performed on Tuesday night this week: "He appeared joyous and playful that night, both on the bandstand and between sets."

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Here's how Peralta is being eulogized:

via LA Weekly:

Last year, Flying Lotus' Brainfeeder label released Peralta's Endless Planets, a record we gladly placed on our top five jazz records of the year. It was a psychedelic trip through pulsating soul that, alongside Thundercat's the Golden Age of Apocalypse (on which Peralta also played) heralded something truly fantastic and new. Peralta had moved far beyond teenage phenom and into a sound that resonated with promise and originality, giving hope to the future of the Los Angeles jazz scene.

via Passion of the Weiss:

For the last few years, Peralta was everywhere you turned, with Thundercat and Lotus, he was a third crucial bridge between the jazz and electronic worlds. A kid born out of time, blessed with a talent so far-reaching that he seemed to be one of the best candidates to usher jazz deep into this century. A interstellar and manic counterpart to the steady syncopation of Robert Glasper. The next one. And now he’s dead just days after his 22nd birthday.

via Los Angeles Times:

Peralta's recent output has ranged from collaborations on Flying Lotus' Brainfeeder Records imprint, including the pianist's 2011 album "Endless Planets," and session work for artists including Erykah Badu and the Cinematic Orchestra. But Peralta first made his international mark at age 15 at the Tokyo Jazz Festival, where he and his trio performed a set that confirmed a pianist with prodigious talent.
You could see it in his hands, and those long pianist fingers that moved across the keys effortlessly.

via Fact:

In his tragically short life, the California native had proved himself to be a fearsome and precocious talent. At 15 years old, Peralta was already touring the world with his own trio, and performing alongside legends like Chick Corea and Omar Hakim. Whilst still at high school, Peralta headed up ensembles featuring luminaries like Ron Carter and Buster Williams.

Brainfeeder has a tribute to Peralta's body of work.