When listening to multi-instrumentalist Ricky Persaud Jr, you’re treated to an unbelievable range of sound and passion that is both simple and sophisticated all at once. Just when you think you’ve got him figured out, another track pulls him out of any pigeon hole you might have put him in. Is he Rock? Reggae? Pop? Funk? Check ‘em all. Persaud’s knowledge of music belies his years, and he delivers it all and more on his sixth album, M.Y.O.B.

Growing up in New Jersey, Persaud was always surrounded by music. His father, Ricky Sr, engineered albums early in his working career and passed his love of music along to his two sons. His mother, who was always musical but denied lessons as a girl, promised herself that her children would be able to learn any instrument they wanted.

At age 4, Ricky began to play percussion and was accepted to the Newark School of the Arts to study drums. However, it wasn’t until he was 9 that he grabbed a guitar and instinctively knew what to play. “I just picked up a family guitar and started to play, having never taken a lesson. That day it all clicked for me; I knew I had found a way to express myself.” Aiding in the journey was an early musical lesson courtesy of The Beatles. “The Beatles taught me that you can make incredible music within the pop realm and also be socially conscious lyrically at the same time.”


Filed Under: Upcoming Events

The Governor’s Awards in Arts Education began in 1980 to promote awareness and appreciation of the arts, recognizing the creativity, talent and leadership of the award winners. Each year, awards are presented to approximately 20 educators and 80 students. National and statewide organizations select the students for their exemplary work in creative writing, speech, dance, music, theatre and visual arts and the leaders for their exceptional commitment and contribution to arts education. The program also recognizes arts educators and arts education advocates, whose leadership has helped nurture the development of students in the arts across the state.

432 High Street Burlington, NJ 08016


The Governor’s Awards event is a partnership of the Arts Ed NJ, the Department of Education, Art Pride New Jersey Foundation, the Department of State and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Additional support is provided by: the Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics; Art Educators of New Jersey; Art Administrators of New Jersey; Dance New Jersey; New Jersey Council of Teachers of English; New Jersey Speech and Debate League; New Jersey Music Educators Association; New Jersey Performing Arts Center; Writer's Theatre of New Jersey; Speech and Theatre Association of New Jersey; New Jersey Thespians and Young Audiences of New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. The cooperating organizations, award sponsors and individual members of the planning council dedicate their time to make sure that excellence in the arts is rewarded, and work tirelessly throughout the year to plan this special event. The Governor's Awards in Arts Education ceremony are a major collaborative effort of the arts, education and state government.