Pete La Roca's Birthday
Pete La Roca (born Peter Sims; April 7, 1938 – November 20, 2012) was an American jazz drummer. Born and raised in Harlem by a pianist mother and a stepfather who played trumpet, he was introduced to jazz by his uncle Kenneth Bright, a major shareholder in Circle Records and the manager of rehearsal spaces above the Lafayette Theater. Sims learned percussion in Public School, at the High School of Music and Art, and at the City College of New York, where he played tympani in the CCNY Orchestra. He adopted the name La Roca early in his musical career when he played timbales for six years in Latin bands.