Bill Summers

Celebrated American Musician

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Performances by Bill Summers:


Bill Summers, a former Detroit Observatory Student, is a renowned Afro-Cuban/Latin Jazz percussionist and multi-instrumentalist, based in New Orleans. Through his creativity and diversity in music, playing anything from traditional African instruments to pop bottles, he has affected the artistic and cultural community worldwide. Although Mr. Summers is most recognized for his work with the multi-award-winning group Los Hombres Calientes formed in 1998, his musical career developed long before that. He has contributed to the musical soundtracks of several movies including The Color Purple, and also worked with Quincy Jones on the musical score for Roots.

As well as being a successful musician, Mr. Summers is known as a cultural visionary bringing diverse people and ideas together. He has been involved in numerous musical ventures with groups that cross cultural boundaries, having served as veteran of the Walter Payton Trio and Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters, as well as contributing to their popular release “Evolution Revolutionas” in 2003.

Mr. Summers continues to lead the “Summers Multi-Ethnic Institute of the Arts,” which for the last decade, has opened immense opportunities for young aspiring artists in New Orleans by taking students to Cuba to study Afro-Cuban Music. In 1999, Bill Summers and several of his students participated in the prestigious Yoruba order of sacred drummers by Estaban “Cha Chhaa” Vega, the most celebrated and honored drummer in Cuba.