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Leo Ferguson

Matthias Lupri

Leo Ferguson, Composer & Drummer

I have been a drummer since I was 15. Born and raised in New York City to a Black jazz saxophonist and a Jewish artist from a family of classical musicians. I studied jazz theory, performance, the history of African-American composers and mallet percussion at Hampshire College and Amherst College under the legendary Yusef Lateef, as well as Margo Simmons and Andrew Jaffe. Although I quickly fell in love with writing music, I started composing largely out of frustration. I felt hemmed in by jazz that was often formulaic or stultifyingly anachronistic and a classical tradition that was incapable of addressing or integrating the experiences of African- Americans (let alone bi-racial Black/Jewish kids).

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