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Munyungo Jackson

Percussionist, Composer, Arranger, Producer, Author and four time Grammy Winner Darryl Munyungo Jackson possesses an ever-increasing collection of instruments with which to execute his craft. That is one of the reasons this warm and unassuming West Coast artist can be found in virtually any musical setting—whether it’s Funk, Pop, Jazz, Latin, Reggae, or traditional dance music of such countries as Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana, Haiti, Brazil and Cuba.

Despite his youthful appearance, Munyungo is no newcomer: in his over thirty years of playing, he has developed an awesome versatility and became a well-respected and much requested session, concert and tour player. He has performed with Miles Davis, Stevie Wonder, Sting, Kenny Loggins, Herbie Hancock, Dianne Reeves, the Zawinul Syndicate, George Howard, Ronnie Laws, The Temptations, Four Tops, The Supremes, Bennie Maupin, Bill Summers, Marcus Miller, and dozens of others, including numerous ethnic music and dance troupes.

Munyungo was born in Los Angeles, California, into creative surroundings: his parents, Arthur Jackson Jr. and Genie Jackson, both maintained various involvements in music, dance and writing, and Munyungo is the nephew of the legendary jazz, pop and blues singer and pianist Nellie Lutcher who was on Capital Records.

As a child, Munyungo was required to take classical piano lessons, and did so until he was nineteen years old. But in his high school years, when one of his buddies started a Latin jazz band, seventeen-year-old Munyungo found himself uncontrollably attracted to the sound of the timbales, and his interest in piano began to fade. He began spending more and more time with the percussionist in that band, soon discovering that he was quite skillful at observing and remembering the techniques. His first opportunity he purchased his very own set of timbales.

During this period, Munyungo’s father was program director of a jazz radio station. The benefit to Munyungo was the constant exposure to much music. He happily surrounded himself with the albums of the many Latin artists of the day such as Mongo Santamaria, Willie Bobo, and Tito Puente, and practiced by playing his timbales along with these albums. Soon, his system of observation-plus-practice proved to be an effective method of self-training, and it wasn’t long before he formed a Latin jazz band with his classmates.

Munyungo’s passion for the timbales was only the beginning. From that point, he made the natural progression to Congas, Bongos, Latin Percussion and beyond, eventually to religious Bata Drumming, and numerous drums and percussion from many different cultures.

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Album Review

Hu Vibrational: Timeless

Read "Timeless" reviewed by Geno Thackara

An Adam Rudolph recording is less a collection of musical pieces than of sound paintings. The elements he works with are musical ones--any instrument known to mankind might be used, and often even used to play notes--but traditions of form and melody tend to be tossed out the window from the start. The tones are treated as daubs of paint on a palette, splashed here and there whenever they will add something to whichever imaginary landscape he is evoking at ...

Album Review

John Beasley, Magnus Lindgren, SWR Big Band: Bird Lives

Read "Bird Lives" reviewed by Jim Worsley

Round about 2017 there was a meeting of the minds. Composers and musicians John Beasley and Magnus Lindgren evolved as kindred spirits, and chose to work together on a project engulfing their shared appreciation of Charlie Parker. This tribute to the man who came to be known simply as Bird, had trouble taking flight. Obstacles, none bigger than Covid, came along and stood in the way. Dedicated to its completion, the pair, along with the SWR Big Band, has now ...

Radio & Podcasts

Miles Davis & Erroll Garner

Read "Miles Davis & Erroll Garner" reviewed by Joe Dimino

This week we open with an illuminating conversation with legendary percussionist Munyungo Jackson in which we also touched upon his mentor Miles Davis. We then feature music by Kansas City saxophonist Todd Wilkinson and new releases by Michael Wolff and Kat Vokes, whom we interviewed a few days ago. Thanks for listening! Playlist Munyungo Jackson “4 AM" Morning Sun (Djembe Music) 00:00 Host talks 5:57 Miles Davis “Dr. Jackle" Milestones (Columbia/Legacy) 6:50 Senri Oe “Re_Vision" Hmmm (Sony Music ...

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Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson


Meta Records


My Romance - A...

Amber Inn Productions


Bird Lives

ACT Music



Mack Avenue Records



From: Timeless
By Munyungo Jackson

My Romance (A Special Valentine)

From: My Romance - A Special Valentine
By Munyungo Jackson


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