The People of JEN – Ndugu Leon Chancler

The Jazz Education Network presents an interview with member Leon «Ndugu» Chancler. For more info about JEN,

Leon «Ndugu» Chancler (born July 1, 1952) is a drummer, percuussionist, studio musician, composer and producer. Mr. Chancler was born in Shreveport, Louisiana and began playing drums when he was thirteen years old. While in high school, Chancler played with Willie Bobo and the Harold Johnson Sextet. Chancler graduated from California State University, Dominguez Hills with a degree in music education. By then he had already performed with the Gerald Wilson Big Band, Herbie Hancock, and recorded with Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, and Bobby Hutcherson, among many others.
Mr. Chancler often works as a studio percussionist. His playing can be heard on many hit records, ranging from jazz to blues to pop, including Michael Jackson’s «Billie Jean». Chancler has also worked with Stanley Clarke, Jean-Luc Ponty, Donna Summer, George Duke, Patrice Rushen, Carlos Santana, Hubert Laws, The Crusaders, Frank Sinatra, Weather Report, Lionel Richie, Kenny Rogers, Thelonious Monk, Herbie Hancock and John Lee Hooker.

In 2006 he became an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies at the University of Southern California and teaches at the Stanford Jazz Workshop in California for three weeks every summer.

Mr. Chancler is also member of Percussive Arts Society and has been named as one of the top 25 Drummers in the world. He also is a composer and the sole proprietor of his own publishing company, and a proud member of JEN.

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