Les DeMerle

The Dynamic Les DeMerle Band

Les DeMerle, world-renowned drummer, bandleader, clinician and author was born in Brooklyn, New York. He began playing drums at age 8, launched onto the New York jazz scene with his own all-star jazz group and performed with traditional jazz legends Billy Williams, Henry “Red” Allen and jazz vibes great, Lionel Hampton, all before age 17. Soon after, Les toured for 12 years with big band jazz trumpet master, Harry James, and recorded 3 albums with him including the Grammy Award-winning, "King James Version". Always enterprising in nature, Les, as usual, had “all pots on the stove and COOKIN’ ” during this period when he moved to Los Angeles. As a clinician, he appeared in most major music stores in the USA and Europe. As a club owner, bandleader, jazz innovator and teacher, Les owned and operated The Cellar Theater/Creative Music Workshop. Featured artists in his nightclub included not only Les’ own cutting-edge jazz/rock/fusion band, Transfusion, with whom he recorded 5 award-winning LP’s, but also showcased world-renowned jazz stars such as Chick Corea, Al Jarreau and Freddie Hubbard. As an author, Les wrote two best-selling educational drum books, "Jazz/Rock Fusion, Volumes I and II", published by Hal Leonard. And he is currently writing his autobiography to be published and available soon.

In his diverse musical career, Les DeMerle has performed with many world-class acts. Les toured for three years and recorded with Las Vegas star, Wayne Newton, also toured and recorded with the multiple Grammy Award–winning jazz vocal group, The Manhattan Transfer, and has appeared with many other musical greats including Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis, Jr., Mel Tormé, Joe Williams and Lou Rawls.

Les DeMerle'S SETUP:

  1. A Zildjian 13" High Hat Cymbals
  2. A Zildjian 16" Crash Cymbal
  3. A Zildjian 20" Ping Ride
  4. A Zildjian 17" Crash Cymbal
  5. Zildjian China Boy 22" Swish

* May be prototype

IN 3

Les DeMerle's
IN 3


    Music inspires me. Since the age of six, I have listened to, studied and learned from my jazz drum heroes: Krupa, Bellson, Rich, Morello, Blakey, Jones, Williams, Gadd, and many, many more. I am a strong believer in having one foot in the past and the other in the future. Besides all of the great drummers, I am inspired by the jazz legends I have had the great pleasure to play with and record with: Harry James, Richie Cole, Eddie Jefferson, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and the Manhattan Transfer. Plus, at the not-for-profit Amelia Island Jazz Festival he founded in 2001, as Festival Artistic Director, Les has appeared with headliners: David Sanborn, Delfeayo Marsalis, Néstor Torres, Houston Person, Larry Coryell, Spyro Gyra, David Benoit, Randy Brecker, Tierney Sutton, John Pizzarelli and more.


    Never stop learning. Keep your eye on the prize. Really go for it.


    Zildjian A 20" Ping Ride, Zildjian A's and K's 16" and 17" Crash Cymbals, Zildjian A 13" High Hat Cymbals, Zildjian China Boy 22" Swish