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Lenny Robinson



Biography

Born in Philadelphia and raised in Baltimore, Lenny Robinson attended Morgan State University as well as the Peabody Conservatory of Music studying with Charles Memphis, Principal Percussionist with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. While still in college, he did a European tour with a theatrical jazz ensemble performing at several festivals including Montreux, North Sea and others. After leaving college, he performed with several R&B groups including Jean Carne, Roy Ayers, The O'Jays and others. He then joined the 26th Army Band in Brooklyn, New York, where he also became a part of the New York jazz community. He formed a band that included such artists as Onaje Alan Gumbs, John Purcell, Anthony Cox and the late Kenny Kirkland. After leaving the Army, Lenny moved to the Washington, DC, area where he quickly became one of the most in-demand drummers in town performing with such artists as Clifford Jordon, George Coleman, Archie Shepp, Larry Willis, Dewey Redman, Ronnie Mathews, John Hicks, Buster Williams, Roy Hargrove and others. He also has gone on the road with such artists as Ahmad Jamal, Lou Donaldson, Vanessa Rubin, Don Braden, and Stanley Turrentine's working band.

Watch Past Performances

Video 3/20/2018: Lenny Robinson Quartet

Born October 4, 1956, Lenny Robinson has become one of the foremost voices of jazz at the drums. He grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, in a rich musical environment. He played piano and organ in his father’s church in his early teens, trumpet in both junior high and high school, and came to love percussion in high school. Robinson’s first contact with jazz came early in junior high school with a Max Roach/Clifford Brown record. He then enrolled in the Peabody Conservatory of Music under Charles Memphis, principal percussionist with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. After a year at Peabody, Robinson transferred to Morgan State University where Memphis was also on staff. While attending Morgan, Robinson’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 at the Montreux Festival in Switzerland, the Oslo Festival, and the North Sea Festival, as well as made theater appearances in various cities in Europe. Shortly after returning from Europe, Robinson was asked to join Jean Carne’s band. This band traveled extensively throughout the United States sharing concert billings with groups such as The O’Jays, Roy Ayers, The Gap Band, and other R&B groups of the early 1980s. Robinson then became a member of the 26th Army Band in Brooklyn, New York. He put together a band that included Onaje Allan Gumbs and Kenny Kirkland on piano, Anthony Cox on bass, and John Purcell on reeds. This band performed regularly at 55 Grand. Robinson has performed recording artists such as Dewey Redman, Clifford Jordan, Carter Jefferson, Vanessa Rubin, Lou Donaldson, Roy Hargrove, Kenny Barron, Eartha Kitt, Gary Bartz, Eddie Henderson, Ahmad Jamal, Keter Betts, John Hicks, Larry Willis, and 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 Marlena Shaw as well as the saxophonist T. K. Blue. Robinson was also part of the adjunct faculty at Cheyney State University, as well as an instructor for the Living Jazz summer program, directed by Terrell Stafford, currently director of jazz studies at Temple University. Robinson was chosen to lead a group and be involved in the Harman Corporation’s Listening To Jazz educational program, which is a partnership between the Harman Corporation and Wynton Marsalis. Currently, Robinson is on the faculty at the prestigious Landon School in Bethesda, Maryland. He is the leader of The Lenny Robinson Group, the co-leader of Lenny Robinson and Three For All, has an organ group called the Organic Trio, and a piano-less quartet MadCurious. He also produces records for his company Intrinsic Value Productions.

Video 12/25/2017: All-Star Christmas Day Jazz Jam

Join in the 19th annual All-Star Christmas Day Jazz Jam, a Millennium Stage tradition, with host/vibraphonist Chuck Redd, drummer Lenny Robinson, trumpeters Robert Redd and Tom Williams, bassist James King, and vocalist Delores King Williams.

Video 12/25/2016: All-Star Christmas Day Jazz Jam

Join in the 18th annual All-Star Christmas Day Jazz Jam, a Millennium Stage tradition, with host/vibraphonist Chuck Redd, drummer Lenny Robinson, pianist Robert Redd, trumpeter Tom Williams, bassist James King, and vocalist Delores Williams.

Video 6/13/2016: Lenny Robinson's MadCurious

As part of the 2016 DC Jazz Festival Lenny Robinson’s MadCurious—featuring Lenny Robinson on drums, Brian Settles on saxophone, and Tarus Mateen on bass—presents an evening of jazz music.

Presented as part of the 2016 DC Jazz Festival Dis is ‘Da Drum series.

Video 12/25/2013: All-Star Christmas Day Jazz Jam

Host Chuck Redd leads this festive annual tradition, now in its 15th year, featuring D. C. favorites drummer Lenny Robinson, trumpeter Tom Williams, bassist James King, and vocalist Delores Williams.

Video 12/25/2011: All-Star Christmas Day Jazz Jam

Celebrate this festive Millennium Stage tradition—now in its 13th year—with host and vibraphonist Chuck Redd, pianist Robert Redd, drummer Lenny Robinson, trumpeter Tom Williams, bassist James King, and vocalist Delores Williams.

Lenny Robinson