Desert Island Jazz
Ndugu Chancler (2011)

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(Photo by Stanford Jazz Workshop)

Drummer/percussionist Ndugu Chancler was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, and grew up in Los Angeles from the age of eight.

Ndugu says, in all seriousness, that the idea of playing drums must have come to him "in a dream": while still in Louisiana, he began making drums in his back yard, out of cans and oatmeal boxes. He first took up the drums properly in California at age 13, and by the time he was in high school he was already playing with Willie Bobo and the Harold Johnson Sextet

Ndugu obtained his music education degree from Cal State Dominguez Hills, by which time he had already played with Gerald Wilson's big band and Herbie Hancock, and had recorded with Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Hutcherson, and many others.

Ndugu has long been a first-call studio musician--he's on the hits, from Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean", to Stanley Clarke, Donna Summer, George Duke, Patrice Rushen, Santana, Frank Sinatra, Weather Report, Lionel Ritchie … his credits are pages long.

Ndugu is also a producer and composer, and has his own publishing company. Further, as an educator and clinician, he teaches each summer at the Stanford Jazz Workshop.
Pick Artist Album Song Label
# 1 John Lee Hooker Blues with a Difference Boom Boom Kent
# 2 Marvin Gaye The Jazz Singers What's Goin' On? Smithsonian Folkways
# 3 Chick Corea The Best of Chick Corea Tones for Jones Bones Blue Note
# 4 Miles Davis Miles Ahead Springsville Columbia
# 5 Shirley Horn May the Music Never End Never Let Me Go Verve
# 6 Duke Ellington and His Orchestra Three Suites Toot Toot Tootie Toot Columbia
# 7 Milton Nascimento Amigo Veja Esta Cancão (See This Song) Warner Bros
Book "I extensively read Khalil Gibran ... For a lot of my students I have recommended Macchiavelli. ... I like mob stuff ... 'Hit Man", 'Ronald Reagan, MCA and the Mob', 'Stiffed', ..."
Luxury Item A late '90s Ferrari 350 Spider
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