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Passing the Yamaha torch: From Miles Davis to Wilburn and Chancler

North Hollywood, Calif. (Dec. 1, 2008) — The acclaimed group of Miles Davis veterans behind the ingenious Miles from India album, which includes drummers Ndugu Chancler and Davis' nephew Vince Wilburn, kicked off the 26th annual San Francisco Jazz Festival on Oct. 6 with a skillful and cross-cultural bang.

Vince Wilburn and Ndugu Chancler
Vince Wilburn and Ndugu Chancler
Both Wilburn and Chancler are more than capable of paying tribute to the legendary trumpeter, composer and band leader– they both played with Miles back in the day. Wilburn was anointed to Miles' drum throne and he toured the world with him while holding that position from 1984 – 1987.

Chancler has said in an interview that playing with Miles graduated him to the upper class in the world of drumming. Both drummers have clearly followed in Miles' footsteps in terms of their choice of a musical instrument manufacturer as well. They both played Yamaha Maple Absolute drum kits for the SFJAZZ concert.

In the early '70s, Miles toured Japan and used all Yamaha gear from top to bottom, carving a respectable niche for the Yamaha brand on the world stage. Miles was known for his ability to blend jazz, rock and world beats.

The 15-piece band behind Miles From India didn't disappoint the more than 2,000 fans in the audience that night, skillfully recreating that same dream of fusing genres. The Miles From India concept is the brainchild of Grammy Award-winning composer-arranger Bob Belden.

The SFJAZZ festival is an annual three-week celebration of today's best jazz music, with more than 30 concerts featuring artists representing all styles from classical to avant-garde.

Passing the Yamaha torch: From Miles Davis to Wilburn and Chancler
The Yamaha drummers paid tribute to the famed musician during the opening night of the 26th annual San Francisco Jazz Festival