Short Biography


London-based drummer and percussionist Ralph Salmins is one of the world’s most in-demand drummers. Having graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where he studied classical percussion, Ralph has gone on to win numerous awards and polls, including Best Drummer in the British Jazz Awards.

In the late 80’s and early ‘90s, Ralph played with Gloria Gaynor, Lulu, John Etheridge, Annie Whitehead, The BBC Big Band and Loose Tubes. After touring and recording alongside Vinnie Colaiuta with Everything But The Girl, he toured with soul tenorist Kirk Whalum, opening for Whitney Houston. Gigs and albums followed with The Dankworth Generation Band, Laurie Johnson’s London Big Band conducted by Jack Parnell, The Count Basie Orchestra, trumpeter Guy Barker’s International Quintet and Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames. Fame subsequently called Ralph to play with Van Morrison, with whom he spent four years and made three albums.

Ralph’s versatility and signature groove have made him drummer of choice for major producers and composers worldwide, having performed or recorded with Paul McCartney, George Martin, Elton John, Madonna, James Brown, Tom Jones, Mike Oldfield, Chaka Khan, Dionne Warwick, Quincy Jones, Diana Ross, Burt Bacharach, Alison Krauss, Sheryl Crow, Tori Amos, Alanis Morissette, Paloma Faith, The Bee Gees, Elvis Costello, Jeff Beck, Alice Cooper, Michel Legrand, Michael Buble, Josh Groban, Wynton Marsalis, Jon Hendricks, James Moody, Annie Ross, Tom Scott, Jimmy Witherspoon and Joe Williams amongst many others. Ralph’s chart hits include Bjork’s ‘It’s Oh So Quiet’ and Robbie Williams’ multi-platinum ‘Swing When You’re Winning’ album and DVD.

Movie composers with whom he works include Alexandre Desplat, Hans Zimmer, A.R. Rahman, John Williams, Danny Elfman, Howard Shore and Carter Burwell and he has played on the soundtracks to over 130 movies, including Bridget Jones’s Diary, Evita, Goldeneye, Tomorrow Never Dies, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Harry Potter And The Prisoner of Askhaban, Burn After Reading, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Prometheus and BAFTA Award and Oscar-winning movies Gosford Park, Moulin Rouge and Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King.

In 2011, Ralph joined The Waterboys playing on their latest album “An Appointment With Mr. Yates.” He continues to perform internationally with the band.

In 2012 Ralph was asked by LOCOG and Underworld’s Rick Smith to act as  consultant for the drummers in the London Olympic Opening Ceremony. In this role he worked closely with Rick and director Danny Boyle to coordinate the auditions and training of 1,000 drummers with whom he performed in the ceremony alongside Dame Evelyn Glennie to an audience of over 1 billion. He also played on the Olympic Opening Album Isles Of Wonder and recorded tracks with Eric Idle for David Arnold and Beverley Knight for the closing and Paralympic opening ceremonies.

Ralph composes and produces for his production music company, Made Up Music at his own Bunker Studio where Georgie Fame, Hamish Stuart, Jocelyn Brown, Nick Mason, Billy Cobham, Kyle Eastwood, David Sanborn and Michael McDonald have also recorded.

A committed educator, Ralph has given master classes at many of the UK conservatiores, percussion days and drum shows and has toured clinics for Sabian, Gretsch, Vic Firth and Remo.