Lenny White

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Lenny White
White and Stanley Clarke, 1976
White and Stanley Clarke, 1976
Background information
Birth nameLeonard White III
Born (1949-12-19) December 19, 1949 (age 70)
New York City, U.S.
GenresJazz fusion, funk
Occupation(s)Musician, bandleader
Years active1968–present
LabelsNemperor, Elektra, Wounded Bird
Associated actsReturn to Forever, Twennynine, Azteca, Jamaica Boys

Leonard White III (born December 19, 1949) is an American jazz fusion drummer who was a member of the band Return to Forever led by Chick Corea in the 1970s. White has been called "one of the founding fathers of jazz fusion".[1][2][3]


Born in Queens, New York City, White became interested in music at a young age. As a self taught drummer he started off his career playing with groups at the New York jazz scene. During the late 1960s he began performing with saxophonist Jackie Mclean. He went on to play on Miles Davis' landmark 1969 LP Bitches' Brew and feature on Freddie Hubbard's 1970 LP Red Clay. Within 1972 White joined the famed jazz group Return to Forever.[4][1][2]

White later issued in 1977 his debut solo album entitled Big City. During 1978 he released his sophomore LP The Adventures of Astral Pirates and his third solo album Streamline. He eventually formed the jazz/soul group Twennynine who went on to issue three studio albums, 1979's Best of Friends, Twennynine with Lenny White in 1980, and 1981's Just Like Dreamin'.[1][2]

White then made a guest appearance on Chick Corea's 1982 album Touchstone and produced Chaka Khan's 1982 LP Echoes of an Era. He later released his 1983 album Attitude and coproduced Pieces of a Dream's 1986 LP Joyride.[1][2]

White has been a longtime resident of Teaneck, New Jersey.[3]

Awards and honors[edit]

He has won three Grammy awards.[5]


Lenny White with Buster Williams at Oslo Jazzfestival 2016

As leader[edit]

As sideman[edit]

With Azteca

  • 1972: Azteca (Columbia)
  • 1973: Pyramid of the Moon (Columbia)
  • 2008: From The Ruins (Inakustic Gmbh)

With Gato Barbieri

With Ron Carter

With Cyrus Chestnut

With Stanley Clarke

With Al Di Meola:

With Return to Forever

With Larry Coryell & Victor Bailey

  • 2005: Electric
  • 2006: Traffic

With Chaka Khan, Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, Chick Corea & Stanley Clarke

  • 1982: Echoes of an Era (Elektra)
  • 1982: Echoes of an Era 2 – The Concert (Elektra)

With Wallace Roney

With Buster Williams

With others


  1. ^ a b c d "All About Jazz: Lenny White biography". allaboutjazz.com. All About Jazz.
  2. ^ a b c d Yanow, Scott. "Lenny White". allmusic.com. Allmusic.
  3. ^ a b Kara Yorio (December 19, 2013). "Teaneck's Lenny White to play four nights at Jazz Standard". The Record. Archived from the original on January 14, 2015. Retrieved March 12, 2016. White, a two-time Grammy winner, is one of the founding fathers of jazz fusion. His first recording gig was with Miles Davis on the groundbreaking "Bitches Brew" album that was released in 1970.
  4. ^ Wald, Aran (October 1977). "Lenny White". moderndrummer.com. Modern Drummer.
  5. ^ "Lenny White". grammy.com.

External links[edit]