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Leroy Jenkins LEROY JENKINS is continually inventing his own musical language His is an extraordinary bonding of a variety of sounds associated with the black music tradition while simultaneously bridging with European styles His intermeshing of jazz and classical influences leaves critics constantly wondering at his musical identity however all agree that Jenkins is a master who cuts across all categories The San Francisco Chronicle He is as quick as a cat emotional as an actor and as precise as a mathematician St Louis Post Dispatch No violinist in the field can touch Leroy Jenkins The Village Voice Born in Chicago Illinois in 1932 Jenkins was already playing violin at the age of 8 at his local Ebenezeer Baptist Church The flavor of spirituals still remains in his music He studied music in high school and then attended Florida AM University where he studied with Bruce Hayden and completed his BS in music For the next ten years Jenkins remained in the South teaching music Jenkins returned to Chicago in 1965 and was drawn into the wellspring of Chicagos creative music activities Almost immediately he joined the Association for the Advancement of Creative Music AACM Jenkins recalls that this union marked the first time that as a violin player he was truly welcomed into creative music performances During this time he played and recorded with Muhal Richard Abrams Leo Smith and Anthony Braxton In 1969 Jenkins left for Paris with Braxton and Smith With the addition of drummer Steve McCall they formed the Creative Construction Company Their 1970 performance in New York joined by Richard Davis on bass and Abrams on piano gave New York the first taste of the new music that Chicago musicians were creating Jenkins continued to work with the finest creative musicians Archie Shepp Albert Ayler Alice Coltrane Mtume Cal Massey to name a few But it was the work of the collective Revolutionary Ensemble co-founded with bassist Sirone
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