Black Orpheus / Manha De Carnaval
Amelia Island Jazz Festival 2016

I'll Remember April - Amelia Island Jazz Festival  2016

Les DeMerle Trio with Houston Person - Mike Levine piano, Dennis Marks bass, Les DeMerle drums.

Les DeMerle & Bonnie Eisele

   "Infinitely adaptable, DeMerle's power and rhythmic elasticity underlines his bold presence and command of modern jazz drumming." - Herb Wong  

   Long at the forefront of modern jazz drumming, drummer, clinician and band leader Les DeMerle toured and recorded with the Harry James Big Band from 1970 to 1982. One of those recordings, "King James Version" won a Grammy Award. Les toured for three years and recorded with Wayne Newton, also toured and recorded with Manhattan Transfer, and has appeared with many other musical greats, including, Lou Rawls, Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra, Mel Torme, and Joe Williams.

   A native of New York, DeMerle was introduced to music at a young age by a roommate at the Eastern Military Academy on Long Island. At the age of 10 he began studying drums in New York City with his main teacher Bob Livingston and by age 16, had secured a spot in Lionel Hampton's orchestra.

   Veering toward jazz fusion, DeMerle formed Sound 67 with trumpet player Randy Brecker in 1967. This group evolved into Transfusion, which produced five poll-winning albums and featured Randy and Michael Brecker and guitarist/vocalist Steve Katz (later of Blood, Sweat & Tears).

   His two educational drum books, Jazz/Rock Fusion, Volumes 1 and 2, published by Hal Leonard, have long been best sellers.

   More recently, Les has found a home on Florida's Amelia Island. The producer of the annual Amelia Island Jazz Festival since 2001, DeMerle has booked and performed with David Sanborn, Ramsey Lewis, Randy Brecker, Spyro Gyra, David Benoit, Mindy Abair, Buckwheat Zydeco, Larry Coryell and many other jazz luminaries including this years (2017) headliners Nestor Torres and Rosanna Vitro.