Noted jazz drummer Lawrence Leathers found dead in New York

Lawrence Leathers was "one of the most musical, swingingest, honest drummers out there," one musician said.
Image: Lawrence Leathers plays drums for CELIA MCLORIN at the Monterey Jazz Festival
Lawrence Leathers plays drums for Celia McClorin at the Monterey Jazz Festival on Sept. 19, 2014.Craig Lovell / Corbis via Getty Images file

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By Tim Stelloh

Two people were charged with assault Monday after Grammy Award-winning jazz drummer Lawrence Leathers was found in the Bronx, authorities said.

Lisa Harris, 41, and Sterling Aguilar, 28, were arrested and charged with assaulting the 37-year-old musician, the New York Police Department said in a statement.

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Leathers' unconscious body was found shortly before noon Sunday in a stairwell outside an apartment in the Bronx, police said.

The statement did not provide additional details about his death, but the Associated Press reported that Leathers and Harris lived together in the Bronx apartment near where he was found.

Harris allegedly punched Leathers, while Aguilar placed him in a chokehold, the AP reported.

It wasn't clear if they had lawyers.

Leathers, who is originally from Lansing, Michigan, attended The Julliard School and played drums on two Grammy Award-winning recordings by Cecile McLorin Salvant — "For One to Love" in 2015 and "Dreams and Daggers" in 2017.

In an Instagram post, fellow musician E.J. Strickland recalled Leathers as "one of the most musical, swingingest, honest drummers out there."

"Whenever I saw him play, I learned a great deal more about accompaniment, feel, & touch," Strickland said. "Nowadays, there are so many that are so quick to discredit, downplay, & disrespect their peers, youngbloods, & elders. Not Lawrence. Always positive, supportive, & loving. We need more real ones like this, y'all."