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Jerry LeDuff

JERRY LEDUFF plays congas, cuica, berimbau, tabla, suordo, ethnic flutes, ocarinas and many other percussion instruments. Jerry uses his large collection of ethnic and contemporary percussion instruments in performance, recording and lecture presentations. Jerry plays Latin Jazz and World Music. He composes, arranges and performs music for television, film and dance.

JERRY LEDUFF has recorded and/or performed with: Paul Abler, Dwight Adams, Afram Jazz Band, Afrikan Folk Ensemble, Geri Allen, Jimmy Allen, Audrey Allison, Robert Allison, Kofi Ameyaw, Sven Matthew Anderson, Bill Banfield, Spencer Barefield, Marcus Belgrave, George Bennett, Biakuye Percussion Ensemble, Racey Biggs, Mike Blanchard, Tassili Bond, Emil Borde, Ron Brooks, Roy Brooks, Lorenzo Brown, Vincent Bowens, Gary Bubash, Buddy Budson, Michael Carey, James Carter, Francisco Mora Catlett, Joe Chila, Gerald Cleaver, Bill “Clayman” Cloutier, Chris Codish, Jervonny Collier, Danny Colton, Greg Cook, Cordova, Kenn Cox, Huby Crawford, John Dana, George Davidson, Richard Davis, Ronald J English, Jim Esnault, Stev Fair, Brad Felt, Michael Frank, Larry Fratangelo, Patrick “Pat” Freer, Girard Gibbs, Dizzy Gillespie, Edward Gooch, Andy Gonzales, Jerry Gonzales, Lesley-Anne Graham, Miguel Guiterez, Alex Harding, Pamela Wise Harrison, Wendell Harrison, Marion Hayden, J C Heard, Andres “Drez” Hernandez, Marvin “Doc” Holladay, Anthony “Tony” Holland, Akunda Hollis, Maureen Honoré, Barbara Huby, Perry Hughes, Steven Hunter, Robert Hurst, Ali Jackson, Angie Jackson, David Janeway, Cornelius “JuJu” Johnson, Marvin Kahn, Leonard King, Earl Klugh, Stefan Kukurugya, Kerry Lacy, Larry Lamb, Sheila Landis, Phil Lasley, Michael Layne, Howard Levy, Joe LoDuca, Eugene Mann, Ray Mantilla, Pete Martinez, Rick Matle, Harold McKinney, GayeLynn McKinney, Duncan W McMillan, David McMurray, Bill Meyer, Steve Morris, Amina Claudine Myers, Alberto Nacif, Greg Nance, Ed Nelson, Shahida Nurullah, Babatunde Olatunji, Oopapada, Orange Lake Drive, Parsec 9, Nick Pena, Percussive Arts Ensemble, Scott Petersen, Ed Pickens, Christopher Bonnier Pitts, Zach Pliska, Terry Pollard, Marianne Porter, Melvyn Price, Patrick Prouty, Enrico Rava, David Reinstein, Althea Rene, Max Roach, Badal Roy, Sam Sanders, Satori, Gary Schunk, Jaribu Shahid, Warren Smith, R J Spangler, David Staub, Mark Stone, Storytellers, Straight Ahead, Sun Ra, Walt Szymanski, Tani Tabbal, Craig Taborn, The Aboriginal Percussion Choir, The Fireworks Arts Ensemble, The Lyman Woodard Organization, Bastian Christopher Trimpe, Robert Tye, Earl Van Dyke, Earl Van Riper, Keith Vreeland, Donald Walden, Ursula Walker, Donald Washington, Peter N Wenger, Rodney Whitaker, Lawrence Williams, Lyman Woodard, Vincent York, Ai Yumiba and many others.

Currently JERRY LEDUFF performs and books gigs with his group, Creolada. He records and performs with the group Fairwarnin and freelances with other very talented musicians.

JERRY LEDUFF was born October 14th in Alexandria, Rapides Parish, Louisiana to Creole parents Mary Elizabeth Esnault and Octave LeDuff.He was raised in Pontiac, Oakland County, Michigan and also spent time with family in Louisiana.

Blues music was an integral part of Jerry’s childhood experience. Jerry was introduced to jazz in the 1950s by twin jazz aficionados: brothers Obadiah and Rashid McConnell of Pontiac. Jerry expressed a desire to be in the Junior High School Band. His parents gave him a new Conn alto saxophone in 1957, a precious sacrifice from his parents still appreciated today. He studied music and played sax until 1961. The community of Pontiac was the home of the legendary Jones brothers: Hank, Thad and Elvin. The polyrhythmic drumming of Elvin Jones was known within small circles that were also rooted in the Beat movement. Jazz culture and ethnic awareness expanded simultaneously with the Beat movement. These environs stimulated Jerry’s interest in the arts and culture.

In 1961 Jerry joined the Navy “to see the world” and was stationed for three years at the Great Lakes Naval Station outside Chicago, Illinois. For a travel-hungry recruit this station was a disappointment, but for a jazz musician, not a bad concession. Jerry had the home advantage of proximity to Chicago and Detroit bars and jazz scenes.

After leaving the Navy in 1964, he purchased his first conga drum. At this time Americans had little access to authentic African music. Over a few years, visiting African drummers provided the needed instruction and guidance to develop the fundamentals of African drumming. Jerry LeDuff and Melvyn Price formed a group called the Afrikan Folk Ensemble in Pontiac, Michigan for the study and performance of African-based music. By 1967 Jerry was involved in avant-garde jazz, and performing with a Pontiac group called The Fireworks Arts Ensemble.

In 1971 Jerry attended Oakland University [Rochester, Michigan], completing a Bachelor of Studio Arts degree in 1974. During this time Jerry performed with the Afram Jazz Ensemble under the directorship of Marvin “Doc” Holladay. At this point in his career, he was influenced by, studied and performed with Detroit jazz legends such as Marcus Belgrave, Sam Sanders, Harold McKinney, Jimmy Allen, and Terry Pollard.

The Detroit music scene is ripe with talent and many music performances and relationships have developed. Having lived with the blues and studied and performed African and jazz music, Jerry LeDuff naturally extended his interests into World Music. Jerry’s music career has afforded him the opportunity to play and record with many great jazz musicians.

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Willing to teach

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Experienced lecturer/performer, Congas and World Music with emphasis on percussion, University, College and Community forums.

Clinic/Workshop Information

Experienced lecturer/performer, Congas and World Music with emphasis on percussion, University, College and Community forums.



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