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Ralph Patt, was born in 1929 in Kittanning, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1952 with a degree in geology. In Pittsburgh, he studied with guitarist Joe Negri.

After military service in the First Army Band, Governors Island, New York City, he toured as guitarist with numerous bands, including Neal Hefti (1955), Frankie Carle (1956), Les Elgart (1956), Benny Goodman (1957), Richard Maltby (1958), The Glenn Miller Orchestra led by Ray McKinley (1958) and Larry Elgart (1959).

Ralph worked in New York in the 1960's as a studio musician, Broadway theatre shows with Elliot Lawrence and as a staff musician at ABC. He attended the Manhattan School of Music studying with Gunther Schuller.

He studied guitar with Barry Galbraith, Jimmy Raney, Jim Hall and Chuck Wayne and co-authored a book with Wayne in 1965, "The Guitar Appreggio Dictionary". He also studied with George Russell and contributed to "The Lydian Concept of Tonal Organization".

Ralph stopped playing full time in 1975 and changed careers. He continues to play jazz as often as possible. He now lives near Portland, Oregon, where he is a consultant in hydrogeology advising the U.S.Department of Energy on nuclear waste ground water contamination issues.