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Society & Culture

Leon Mobley on Playing for Mandela, Collaborating with Nas, Starring on Zoom, and Performing with Duke Ellington

podcast June 13, 2022


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Leon Mobley has lived an absolutely fascinating life. From performing with Duke Ellington as a child, to being mentored by Babatunde Olatunji, to recording with Stevie Wonder, to collaborations with Nas, the longtime percussionist with Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals is a legend among drummers.

The story for Mobley starts early, at the Elma Lewis School of Fine art and continues with a role in Raisin (the musical based on A Raisin In The Sun) on Broadway. From there, he embarked on a fascinating ride that saw him share a stage with everyone from Michael Jackson to the Marley family. His collaboration list is unimpeachable and his energy is always turned to 11.

If you have an interest in drumming, and the traditional African rhythms that informs so much of our music today, this is the episode for you!

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