WCSU

Artist Profiles - Drummer Ndugu Chancler

Leon "Ndugu" Chancler is a jazz funk drummer, percussionist, studio musician, composer and producer.

Chancler was born in Shreveport, Louisiana on July 1, 1952. He began playing drums when he was thirteen years old. He once 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.

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". Chancler has also worked with Stanley Clarke, Jean-Luc Ponty, George Duke, Patrice Rushen, Carlos Santana, Hubert Laws, The Crusaders, Weather Report, George Benson, 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.