Leland Nakamura is a freelance drummer/percussionist who has been working in the Washington, D.C. area since 1991.
He has performed with a variety of groups and artists, having toured in South America, Europe, and extensively throughout North America.
Trained in jazz drumming, his career has included an eclectic mix of different styles of music, ranging from original jazz compositions by the Peter Fraize Quintet, the Rob Holmes Quintet, the Dan Leonard Trio, the Dan Lamaestra Trio, and the Thomas Wright Trio, to the Indian infused jazz of Humayun Khan and the Broto Roy Quintet.
He was a member of the original rock bands The Emptys, The Max Fisher Band, and Shane Hines and the Trance and also performed with South African pop artist Mongezi Ntaka.
He has also recorded on a variety of projects both as a member of the groups listed above and as a freelance studio musician.
Some studio highlights include tracks for the rock band Vertical Horizon on their gold album “Running on Ice”, as well as soundtrack sessions for the ABC television series “City Kids”.
Other highlights include performing and/or recording with Mike Stern, Bob Franceschini, Oz Noy, and Libor Smoldas, as well as many of the finest musicians in the D.C. area too numerous to mention.
Rounding out the mix are performances with the National Chamber Ensemble and the Fresno Philharmonic.
He has 23 years of teaching experience and currently serves as Professor of Drumset Studies at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Leland attended the University of Miami where he received a Bachelor of Music with a major in Studio Music and Jazz, Drumset Track.
Check out his YouTube channel: Leland Nakamura, for video footage of him and playlists of some of his band’s CDs.