RIP Ndugu

Very recently, we lost a very good friend & amazing musician, Ndugu Chancler. A innovator, educator, drummer extraordinaire and personality that was so present and influential that it seems impossible that he’s gone. I felt the same way when we lost George Duke. Hopefully they’re up there today jamming away.

Ndugu & I both grew up in Los Angeles and we met each other when we were both 16… 1968… Wow… We would occasionally play casuals together and he introduced me to a 14-year-old pianist that he said was unbelievable… That was Patrice Rushen. Patrice, Ndugu and I would collaborate and be friends for the rest of our lives.

Ndugu went on to have an amazing career that included stints with Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix, Weather Report, Michael Jackson… Just to name a few! His drum style was entirely original and his grooves we’re undeniable! He also became a fixture and an incredible educator at USC. His flame went out way too soon, but he accomplished enough for several lifetimes… Myself & many, many others will miss him dearly…
Lee Ritenour