Bill Summers (musician)

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Bill Summers photo.jpg

Bill Summers (b. June 27, 1948) is a New Orleans based Afro-Cuban jazz/Latin jazz percussionist, a multi-instrumentalist who plays primarily on conga drums. Summers is probably best known for to his work with Los Hombres Calientes along with his friend and co-leader of the group, trumpeter Irvin Mayfield. However, despite this musical relationship, Summers has a much longer musical career than that, often working behind the scenes on film scores for various movies such as The Color Purple and the television miniseries Roots with Quincy Jones. He also played with Herbie Hancock during The Headhunters years, and is mentioned in passing by the liner notes of The Headhunters' 2003 release Evolution Revolution as contributing to that recording. His former wife is Yvette Bostic-Summers, who often sings on Los Hombres' albums.[1]


  • Feel the Heat (Prestige, 1977)
  • Cayenne (Prestige, 1977)
  • Straight to the Bank (Prestige, 1978)
  • On Sunshine (Prestige, 1979)
  • Call it What You Want (MCA, 1980) U.S. No. 129
  • Jam the Box (MCA, 1981) U.S. No. 92
  • Seventeen (MCA, 1982)
  • London Style (MCA, 1983)
  • Iroko (Vital, 1992)
  • Essence of Kwanzaa (Monkey Hill, 1997)
  • Studies in Bata: Sacred Drum of the Yoruba, Havana to Matanzas (Bilsum, 2002)


Year Title Chart Positions[2]
U.S. Black Singles U.S. Disco Singles
1977 "Come into My Life" No. 84 -
1979 "Straight to the Bank" No. 45 No. 34
1981 "Call It What You Want" No. 16 No. 21
1982 "At the Concert" No. 38 -
1983 "It's Over" No. 63 -

As sideman[edit]

With Brass Fever

With Herbie Hancock

With Kimiko Kasai and Herbie Hancock

  • Butterfly (CBS Sony, 1979)

With The Headhunters

  • The Return of Headhunters (Verve, 1998)

With Eddie Henderson

With Quincy Jones



  1. ^ Witmer, Sharon. "Bill Summers Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2007-06-29. 
  2. ^ Billboard Singles.