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Ndugu Chancler is a "World Class" drummer, percussionist, studio musician, composer, producer, and teacher. His drumming can be heard on many popular records of styles from jazz to pop, including Micheal Jackson's hit song "Billie Jean".
Leon 'Ndugu' Chancler was born July 1, 1952 in Shreveport Louisiana. He started playing the drums when he was 13 and attended highschool in L.A. In highschool he worked with acts such as Willie Bobo and the Harold Johnson Sextet. After highschool Ndugu went to California State University, Dominguez Hills, where he got a degree in music education. By the time he had finished college he had already worked with greats like Herbie Hancock and Miles Davis to name a few.
A tour with Santana in 1974 opened the door for Chancler into RnB, Funk, and Fusion groups. He has continued to do so from then on.
As a songwriter Ndugu co-wrote hits for Santana including “Dance Sister Dance,” ”Reach For It” for George Duke and “Let It Whip” for the Dazz Band. His production credits include Flora Purim, Bill Summers and Toki, along with his own solo recordings: Ndugu and the Chocolate Jam Co. and Ndugu Chancler. Ndugu has co-produced recordings for Santana, George Duke, The Crusaders, Joe Sample, Wilton Felder, Tina Turner, Ernie Watts and a group he co-leads with Patrice Rushen. These associations have brought many gold and platinum albums and Grammy Awards.
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.