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 “Ndugu” was born in ShreveportLouisiana and moved to Los Angeles when he was eight. He began playing drums at age 12 and studied music throughout junior high and high school. While in high school, Chancler played with Willie Bobo, Gerald Wilson and the Harold Johnson Sextet. Chancler graduated from California State University, Dominguez Hills with a degree in music education. Chancler began playing with Hugh Masekela, and also worked with Herbie HancockEddie Harris, and Thelonious Monk. He had brief stints with Miles Davis and Freddie Hubbard, then joined up with the great George Duke.  He also performed with Julian PriesterWeather Report and toured with Santana in the mid-’70s, and then formed the band Chocolate Jam Co.

Studio work includes Michael Jackson‘s “Billie Jean“. Stanley ClarkeJean-Luc PontyDonna SummerPatrice RushenHubert LawsThe Crusaders, Frank SinatraLionel RichieGeorge BensonThe TemptationsTina TurnerKenny RogersHerbie Hancock and John Lee Hooker.

Ndugu has also played on a number of Movie Soundtracks including , “An  Officer and a Gentleman”, “Indecent  Proposal” and “The  Color  Purple” 

As  a  songwriter  Ndugu  co- wrote  hits  for  Santana  including  “Dance  Sister Dance”, George Duke’s “Reach  For  It”,  and  “Let  It  Whip”  for  the  Dazz  Band. His  production  credits  include Flora  Purim,  Bill  Summers,  Toki, Ndugu  and  the  Chocolate  Jam  Co. Ndugu  has  co-produced for  Santana,  George  Duke,  The  Crusaders,  Joe  Sample,  Wilton  Felder, Tina Turner and a group he co-leads with Patrice Rushen and  Ernie Watts called “The  Meeting”.

Ndugu Chancler is Faculty at The University Of Southern California  in the Jazz Studies and Popular Music Departments.