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Lawrence Leathers, Jazz Drummer on Grammy-Winning Albums, Found Dead After Assault

New York| Lawrence Leathers, Jazz Drummer on Grammy-Winning Albums, Found Dead After Assault

Mr. Leathers, 37, was an increasing talent on New York’s straight-ahead jazz scene and had used 2 Grammy-winning albums.


Credit Credit Paul Charbit/Gamma-Rapho, through Getty Images

Ali WatkinsGiovanni Russonello

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A well known jazz drummer understood for his crisply swinging style was found dead on Sunday in a Bronx stairwell, and 2 individuals were charged with attack in connection with his death, the cops stated.

Lawrence Leathers, 37, was found about noon on Sunday by another renter stretched on the stairs on the very first floor of the Bronx home structure on East 141 st Street where he lived. Emergency situation medical service technicians pronounced him dead at the scene, the police said.

Sterling Aguilar, 28, and Lisa Harris, 41, were arrested Monday in connection with Mr. Leathers’s death. According to the cops, Ms. Harris resided in the very same structure as Mr. Leathers, but his relationship to her was uncertain.

Mr. Leathers’s gated building, located on a peaceful side road in Mott Sanctuary, stayed cordoned off and a policeman was standing guard on Monday evening.

Mr. Leathers had established himself over the previous dozen years as an increasing talent on New York’s straight-ahead jazz scene. He was arranged to play an after-hours program Monday at Smalls, a club in Greenwich Town where he appeared routinely.

Mr. Leathers spent many of the past decade playing in the support trio for Cecile McLorin Salvant, perhaps jazz’s premier young singer, and he is featured on 2 of her recordings, ” For One to Love”(2015) and “Dreams and Daggers” (2017), both of which won Grammy Awards for finest jazz singing album.

Born in Lansing, Mich., on Nov. 23, 1981, Mr. Leathers began playing expertly at age 15, and studied jazz at Michigan State University prior to relocating to New york city City. He arrived in New york city in 2007 to participate in the Juilliard School.

Mr. Leathers rapidly turned heads at dens like Dizzy’s Club and Smalls, where he ended up being a component, bring forward a tradition of unflashy however intensely swinging drumming that harkened back to the similarity Jimmy Cobb and Arthur Taylor.

At Juilliard, Mr. Leathers satisfied Aaron Diehl, a pianist, and Paul Sikivie, a bassist, and the trainees ultimately formed a trio under Mr. Diehl’s management. It later on became Ms. Salvant’s support band, and went on to visit the world, playing at a few of jazz’s most distinguished celebrations

In a 2015 interview with Lansing City Pulse, Mr. Leathers said he sought to lace his steady-minded drumming with Ms. Salvant’s vocals. “A lot of time, individuals have fun with vocalists and there’s a separation between the singer and the rest of the band,” he stated. “She’s just another instrument on the bandstand.”

Mr. Leathers studied and performed with a number of older musicians. Amongst them, the trumpeter and impresario Wynton Marsalis ended up being a mentor, advocate and occasional jam-session partner It was based partly on Mr. Marsalis’s suggestion that Ms. Salvant picked the Aaron Diehl Trio as her backing band.

Emily Palmer contributed reporting.

Ali Watkins is a reporter on the City Desk, covering courts and social services. Previously, she covered national security in Washington for The Times, BuzzFeed and McClatchy Newspapers. @ AliWatkins

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