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Sun, 06.27.1948

Bill Summers, Global Percussionist born

Bill Summers

*Bill Summers was born on this date in 1948. He is a Black Afro-Cuban jazz/Latin jazz percussionist and a multi-instrumentalist.

From Detroit as a child, his mother influenced his musical path. In 1953 he was enrolled at the Detroit Conservatory of Music, where he learned Piano, Composition, and Theory for 5 of his 10 Years there. He spent 1970 to 1974 at the Michigan Conservatory of Music learning classical Piano, Composition, and Theory. Summers also attended the University of California, Berkeley, majoring in Ethnomusicology. He plays primarily on conga drums. Summers is probably most well-known due to his work with Los Hombres Calientes and his friend and group co-leader, trumpeter Irvin Mayfield.

However, despite this musical relationship, Summers has a much longer musical career than that, often working behind the scenes on film scores for various movies such as The Color Purple and the television miniseries Roots with Quincy Jones. He also played with Herbie Hancock during the Headhunter years and is mentioned in passing by the liner notes of the Headhunters' 2003 release Evolution Revolution as contributing to that recording. His former wife, Yvette Bostic-Summers, often sings on Los Hombres' albums. 

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