Drummer Lawrence Leathers was found dead outside his New York apartment, the victim of a domestic dispute.
The Jazz world is in shock at the news of the death of musician Lawrence Leathers, best known for his collaboration with Grammy winner Cecile McLorin.
Leathers was found dead in a stairwell in his Bronx apartment building on June 2, 2019, and police have declared that he appears to have been a victim of domestic violence.
Two people have been charged with Leathers' death, his live-in girlfriend, Lisa Harris, 41, and Sterling Aguilar, 28.
Both suspects were initially were charged with assault, but the police changed the charges to first- and second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide of the musician.
Leathers began playing professionally at the age of 15 and he won two Grammys with the Aaron Diehl Trio
Police have revealed that Leathers was fatally injured in the middle of a dispute. During the altercation, Aguilar allegedly placed Leathers in a chokehold while Harris punched him in the head,
Jazz musician E.J. Strickland who was a close friend and mentor to Leathers posted a tribute to the drummer on Instagram.
"Whenever I saw him play, I learned a great deal more about accompaniment, feel, & touch. Conversation with him was always a pleasure, as well. He always gave me a lot to think about. Also, one of the most supportive musicians out here on the scene," Strickland wrote.
Vocalist Lezlie Harrison spoke of Leathers as one of her closest friends and "a legend" in the making.
"He was a sought-after drummer. Everybody wanted to work with him. ... He played with such feeling. I loved playing with him because he did all those pretty things behind me, as a vocalist. ... He would certainly be a legend, and I guess that's what he is now," she said.
Police have yet to release any further information on the on-going investigation into Lawrence Leathers' death.
At 37, Lawrence Leathers was already a name to be cited in the Jazz world, although he was still what his community called "a young cat."
Sadly, his brilliance will not have time to mature, and the young hopeful who studied music at Julliard may never enter the hallowed list of Jazz legends.
Leathers began playing professionally at the age of 15 and he won two Grammys with the Aaron Diehl Trio for backing work for jazz vocalist Cecile McLorin Salvant. His music and his promise will be missed.