Leon "Ndugu" Chancler

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Leon "Ndugu" Chancler
Born (1952-07-01) 1 July 1952 (age 64)
Shreveport, Louisiana, United States
Genres Jazz, jazz fusion, pop, blues, funk
Occupation(s) Musician, composer, producer, educator
Instruments Drums, percussions, synthesizers
Years active 1965-present
Associated acts Weather Report

Leon "Ndugu" Chancler (born July 1, 1952) is a jazz funk drummer, percussionist, studio musician, composer and producer.

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,[1] and recorded with Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, and Bobby Hutcherson, among many others.

Chancler often works as a studio percussionist. His playing can be heard on many hit records, ranging from jazz to blues to pop, including the famous Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean".[2] 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, George Benson, The Temptations, Tina Turner Kenny Rogers, Thelonious Monk, Herbie Hancock, John Lee Hooker, etc.

In 2006[citation needed] he became an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies at the University of Southern California[2] and teaches at the Stanford Jazz Workshop in California for three weeks every summer.[3]

Chancler is a member of Percussive Arts Society [4] and has been named as one of the top 25 Drummers in the world[citation needed]. He also is a composer and the sole proprietor of his own publishing company[citation needed].

He has recently toured some cities in Latin America, including Monterrey, Mexico, where he played on Yamaha Mexico's 50th Anniversary Festival.

He endorses Yamaha drums & hardware, Paiste cymbals, Remo heads, LP percussion and Vic Firth sticks.

Drums: Yamaha

  • 22x18" kick drum
  • 14x5.5" Ndugu Chancler signature snare drum
  • 12x8" rack tom
  • 13x9" rack tom
  • 14x14" floor tom
  • 16x16" floor tom

Cymbals: Paiste

  • 14" Twenty Hi-Hat
  • 18" Twenty Crash
  • 20" Twenty Ride
  • 22" 2002 Novo China


With Miles Davis

With Eddie Harris

With Hampton Hawes

With Harold Land

With Azar Lawrence

With Julian Priester

With Lalo Schifrin

With Weather Report


  1. ^ Wynn, Ron. "Leon "Ndugu" Chancler: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-04-21. 
  2. ^ a b "Ndugu Chancler". University of South California. Retrieved 2010-04-21. 
  3. ^ "2010 Faculty". Stanford Jazz Workshop. Retrieved 2010-04-21. 
  4. ^ "Leadership". Percussive Arts Society. Retrieved 2010-04-21.