- Grammy Award (2006)
- Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album
- Performance: Some Skunk Funk
- Grammy Award (1979)
- Best Jazz Fusion Performance
- Performance: 0.3541666666666667
Peter Erskine graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan and studied at IU under George Gaber. In 1972, he commenced his pro career playing with the Stan Kenton Orchestra. Four years later, he joined Maynard Ferguson before working with Jaco Pastorius in Weather Report and moving to Los Angeles. He recorded five albums with the band. He won his first Grammy Award with their album “8.30.” During this time in LA, he also worked with Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, Chick Corea, Bobby Hutcherson, Joe Farrell, and George Cables. He then moved to New York City, where he worked for five years with such musicians as Michael Brecker, Mike Mainieri, Eddie Gomez, and Eliane Elias in Steps Ahead; John Scofield, Bill Frisell, and Marc Johnson in the legendary group Bass Desires; and the John Abercrombie Trio plus Bob Mintzer’s Big Band.
Erskine has lived in LA since 1987 but has been travelling around the world all of that time, working with such artists as Diana Krall, Joni Mitchell, Vince Mendoza, Steely Dan, plus European musicians Jan Garbarek, Kenny Wheeler, Palle Danielsson, John Taylor, Kate Bush, Nguyen Lê, Rita Marcotulli, the Norrbotten Big Band in Sweden plus Sadao Watanabe in Japan. He won his second Grammy Award as the drummer of the WDR big band in Köln along with Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, Vince Mendoza, and others for the Some Skunk Funk album. Films where Erskine’s drumming can be heard include Memoirs of a Geisha, all three of the Austin Powers movies, The Secret Life of Pets, plus the title music of the Steven Spielberg/John Williams collaboration, The Adventures of Tintin. He also played the jazz drumming cues on the Academy Award-winning soundtrack for La La Land and can be heard playing on the scores for Sing, Logan, and “House of Cards.”
Erskine is professor of practice and director of drumset studies at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music.