Jazz Studies; Contemporary Improvisation; West African Drumming, Singing, Movement
Jerry Leake is co-founder of the acclaimed world-music ensemble Natraj, whose four recordings feature his diverse percussion talents. He also performs with Club d'Elf, R.A.R.E, Moksha, and the Agbekor Drum and Dance Society. He is featured on many CDs and has released a solo recording of percussion vignettes. On tabla, he has accompanied Ali Akbar Khan, Steve Gorn, Sharafat Ali Khan, Kumkum Sanyal, Chitravena Ravikiran, Peter Row, Purnima Sen, Warren Senders, and kathak dancer Gretchen Hayden.
Leake graduated from the Berklee College of Music where he studied jazz vibraphone with Gary Burton and hand percussion with Pablo Landrum. He studied tabla in Pune, India with Rajiv Devasthali, and studies in Boston with Todd Nardin and Koashal Anand. In Chennai, India, Leake studied Karnatic rhythm theory and mridangam with T. K. Ramakrishnan. He continues to study African music with Dolsi-Naa Abubakari Luna of the Dagomba tradition (northern Ghana) and has studied Ewe music (southern Ghana) with Godwin Agbeli and David Locke, and balafon/djembe with the Coulibaly family in Burkina Faso. Jerry has written eight widely used texts on North Indian, West African, Latin American percussion, and rhythm theory.
Leake is on the faculty of the New England Conservatory of Music and Tufts University, and is substitute teacher for Jamey Haddad at Berklee. He teaches a summer graduate course on world percussion at the University of Southern Maine, and directed a 6-day rhythm theory seminar at the New England Conservatory in 2002. He presents percussion clinics and solo concerts throughout New England. Jerry is former president of the Massachusetts Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society, and has been a composer and member of the Portland Symphony Kinder Koncert percussion ensemble since 1984.
B.A., Berklee College of Music. North Indian tabla with Rajiv Devasthali; jazz vibraphone with Gary Burton; African music with Godwin Agbeli, Dolsi-naa Abubakari Lunna; Afro-Cuban percussion with Pablo Landrum.
Photo by Andrew Hurlbut