Grammy Award-Winning Jazz Drummer Lawrence Leathers Dead at 37

Illustration for article titled Grammy Award-Winning Jazz Drummer Lawrence Leathers Dead at 37
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Grammy-winning jazz drummer Lawrence Leathers died Sunday in New York City. He was 37.

ABC News reports that Leathers was discovered unconscious in a stairwell of his Bronx, NY, apartment building before he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police believe he was a victim of domestic violence and confirmed that his girlfriend, 41-year-old Lisa Harris, and Sterling Aguilar, 28, have both been charged with first- and second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide in connection to his death.


Reportedly the couple was engaged in a physical altercation when Aguilar allegedly placed Leathers in a chokehold. According to police, Harris then punched him in the head. Leathers died at the scene.

Leathers was a noted figure within the New York City jazz scene who was renown for his swing drumming. While attending the Juilliard School, he met bassist Paul Sikivie and pianist Aaron Diehl. The threesome would go on to form the Grammy Award-winning Aaron Diehl Trio and back jazz vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant.

Upon learning the news, fans and friends have taken to social media to express their condolences.


“Lawrence Lo Leathers @lopicz was one of the most musical, swingingest, honest drummers out here,” drummer E.J. Strickland posted on Instagram. “Whenever I saw him play, I learned a great deal more about accompaniment, feel, & touch. [...] Also, one of the most supportive musicians out here on the scene. Nowadays, there are so many that are so quick to discredit, downplay, & disrespect their peers, youngbloods, & elders. Not Lawrence. Always positive, supportive, & loving. We need more real ones like this, y’all. ❤ Rest well, soldier. You are greatly missed by us all.”

Menace to supremacy. Founder of Extraordinary Ideas and co-host and producer of The Extraordinary Negroes podcast. Impatiently waiting for ya'll to stop putting sugar in grits.

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Rest in peace, Leathers.

I shouldn’t speculate, but on the surface it sounds like his girl was cheating on him.