Sakae Artist: Ndugu Chancler

Ndugu Chancler is a Drummer, Percussionist, Producer, Composer, Clinician, and Educator.

As a studio musician, Ndugu has recorded with such greats as Frank Sinatra, Herbie Hancock, Weather Report, John Lee Hooker, Kenny Rogers, and Michael Jackson. Working on "Thriller" and "Bad", Ndugu was the drummer on the hit single "Billie Jean." Ndugu has also played on a number of movie soundtracks, including An Officer and a Gentleman, Indecent Proposal, and The Color Purple.

"Sakae Drums represents a type of traditional hand-craftsmanship in drum making that my ears have always identified with. The artisanship they put into creating each of their instruments is the same approach I strive for with each note I perform. The sound of Sakae is in my blood. It is my musical voice. It is home for me. It is family."

Ndugu Chancler

As a songwriter, Ndugu co-wrote hits for Santana, including "Dance Sister Dance", "Reach For It" for George Duke, and "Let It Whip" for the Dazz Band. His production credits include...

bio continued below →


Ndugu's Set-Up

In addition to Ndugu's Almighty Maple kit, he also frequently plays Celestial Series drums.

Almighty Series

Select, 6 ply North American Maple shells. Heavier lugs help to focus vibration and sound transmission to the shell edge. Cradle Mounting System for tone isolation.

  • Vintage Club Oyster finish
  • 22 x 18 Bass drum
  • 12 x 8 Tom
  • 13 x 9 Tom
  • 14 x 13 Floor tom
  • 16 x 15 Floor tom
  • 14 x 5.5 maple snare drum

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Suggested Listening


Ndugu's Bio, Continued

Ndugu's production credits include Flora Purim, Bill Summers, Toki, along with his own solo recordings; Ndugu and the Chocolate Jam Co., and Ndugu Chancler. Ndugu has co-produced recordings for Santana, George Duke, The Crusaders, Joe Sample, Wilton Felder, Tina Turner, and a group he co-leads with Patrice Rushen, and Ernie Watts, The Meeting. These associations have brought many Gold and Platinum albums and Grammy Awards.

As an educator, Ndugu has worked with the Jazz Mentorship Program in Los Angeles, Faculty of the Stanford Jazz Workshop and the Diaz Music Institute. Ndugu does clinics all over the world. Ndugu Chancler is an Adjunct Professor of Jazz and Popular Music Studies at The University of Southern California, Flora L.Thornton School of Music.