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D r u m s
Born October 4, Lenny Robinson has become one of the foremost voices of jazz at the drums. He grew up in Baltimore, Md. in a very rich musical environment. He played piano and organ in his father's church in his early teens. He also played trumpet in both junior high and high school. The love of percussion was felt in the ninth grade and the rest, as they say, is history.
He enrolled in the Peabody Conservatory of Music under the teachings of Charles Memphis, principal percussionist with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Lenny transferred to Morgan State University where Mr. Memphis was also on staff. Lenny's first international gig was with Pamoja Experience, a theatrical jazz group that chronicled the black music experience from slave songs to the present. This group toured Europe and performed in places such as the Montreux festival in Switzerland, the Oslo festival, the North Sea festival as well as theatre appearances in various cities in Europe. Lenny was then asked to join Jean Carne's band. This band traveled extensively throughout the US sharing concert billings with groups such as The O'Jays, Roy Ayers, The Gap Band and other R&B groups of the early 80's. It was during this time that Lenny felt the need to expand his musical horizons and make the move to New York. Uncle Sam wanted Lenny to be a member of the 26th Army Band in Brooklyn, NY. While in New York, Lenny put together a band that included either Onaje Allan Gumbs or Kenny Kirkland on piano, Anthony Cox on bass and John Purcell on reeds. This band performed regularly at 55 Grand, the musicians hang out at the time. This enabled Lenny to play with and establish relationships with musicians such as Mike Stern, Jaco Pastorious, Marcus Miller, the Brecker Brothers, Anthony Jackson, Jeff “Tain” Watts and many other world class musicians. When Lenny got out of the Army he moved to Washington, D.C. in 1986. Although Lenny's primary residence is in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, he still maintains a residence in New York. As a result of Lenny's abilities and experience, he has been able to perform with a number of recording artists. A partial list would include Dewey Redman, Clifford Jordan, Carter Jefferson, Vanessa Rubin, Lou Donaldson, Roy Hargrove, Kenny Barron, Eartha Kitt, Terence Blanchard, Gary Bartz, Eddie Henderson, Ahmad Jamal, Keter Betts, John Hicks, Larry Willis, Don Braden as well as the Bill Cosby show "You Bet Your Life". He was a member of the late Stanley Turrentine's working band and is currently touring and recording with his own ensembles.
Lenny's career also has an educational side. He was part of the adjunct faculty at Cheyney State University in Cheyney, Pa. as well as an instructor for the Living Jazz summer program there. Lenny was chosen to lead a group and be involved in the Harman Corp.'s Listening To Jazz educational program. This program, which is a partnership between the Harman Corp. and Wynton Marsalis, is designed to go into urban public schools and teach elementary school children the elements of Jazz and to show how these elements go together to create the art that is improvisation. Lenny was chosen by the State Dept. to be a “Jazz Ambassador”. He led a group that toured Central and South America exposing those areas to the art form known as jazz while engaging with the music and musicians of those regions. Lenny is currently on the faculty at the prestigious Landon School in Bethesda, Md.