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  Idris Muhammad

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Event Date:
Tuesday, November 13, 2018 (This event repeats every year)

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Idris Muhammad

Leo Morris, who changed his name to Idris Muhammad in the 1960's after converting to Islam, was an American jazz drummer, born on November 13, 1939 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Idris began playing the drums at age 8, and by 16  was performing with local jazz bands. One of his earliest recording sessions was playing drums on the 1956 Fats Domino hit, "Blueberry Hill."

Muhammad primarily played soul and R&B music from 1962-1964, performing with artists such as Sam Cooke, Jerry Butler, and The Impressions, then from 1965-1967 as a member of Lou Donaldson's band. He played for the popular musical Hair while also working as the house drummer at Prestige Records (1970-1972). Besides accompanying popular singer Roberta Flack and leading his own band, Muhammad's jazz associations include playing for Johnny Griffin (1978-1979), Pharoah Sanders in the 1980s, George Coleman, and the Paris Reunion Band (1986-1988). He has recorded everything from post-bop to dance music as a leader for such labels as Prestige, Kudu, Fantasy, Theresa, and Lipstick.

In latter years, Muhammad recorded My Turn (1993), featuring saxophonist Grover Washington, Jr. and trumpetor Randy Brecker, and since 1995 until his death, was touring and recording with pianist Ahmad Jamal.

In 2011, Idris left New York City and moved back to New Orleans to retire.

Idris Muhammad died on Tuesday, July 29, 2014; he was 74.

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