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bill summers

Bill Summers

b. William Leonard Summers, 20th May 1948, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.

Bill Summers is a percussionist (primarily the congas), who hails, originally, from Detroit.

He released several popular albums during the Seventies, all of which are held in high regard amongst soul and jazz fans alike.

Bill SummersBill SummersBill SummersBill Summers

feel the heat - 1977 / cayenne - 1977 / straight to the bank - 1978 / on sunshine - 1979

In 1977, he released the solo album ‘Feel The Heat’ (featuring ‘Brazilian Skies’) for the Prestige Records imprint.

The album was produced by Skip Scarborough, and featured Paul Jackson, Alphonse Mouzon, Ray Obiedo, Pete Escovedo and Roger Glenn.

He formed the group Bill Summers and Summers Heat, which featured Rodney Franklin, Freddie Washington and Ray Obiedo, amongst others.

The group released 3 albums for the Prestige imprint, which were ‘Cayenne’ (in 1977), ‘Straight To The Bank’ (in 1978 featuring the popular title track) and ‘On Sunshine’ (in 1979).

Bill SummersBill SummersBill SummersBill Summers

call it what you want - 1980 / jam the box - 1981 / seventeen - 1982 / london style - 1983

The group switched to MCA Records for 4 further album releases, namely ‘Jam The Box’ (in 1981), ‘Call It What You Want’ (in 1981), ‘Seventeen’ (in 1982) and ‘London Style’ (in 1983).

Bill worked on various film scores for movies including ‘The Color Purple’ and the television series ‘Roots’ collaborating with Quincy Jones.

In the early Seventies, Bill was part of the group ‘The Headhunters, along with Herbie Hancock.

Bill featured on 1975’s ‘Survival Of The Fittest’, 1977’s ’Straight From The Gate’, 1998’s ‘Return Of The Headhunters’ and 2003’s ‘Evolution Revolution’.

Currently, Bill resides in New Orleans and is probably most well known for his work with Los Hombres Calientes along with his friend and co-leader of the group, trumpeter Irvin Mayfield.

Bill’s previous wife is Yvette Bostic-Summers, who often sings vocals on Los Hombres Calientes recordings.

Los Hombres Calientes

Los Hombres Calientes, Vol. 3: New Congo Square - 2001 - irvin mayfield and bill summers

Real Player


Feel the Heat (Prestige Records 1977)

Cayenne (Prestige Records 1977)

Straight to the Bank (Prestige Records 1978)

On Sunshine (Prestige Records 1979)

Call it What You Want (MCA Records 1980)

Jam the Box (MCA Records 1981)

Seventeen (MCA Records 1982)

London Style (MCA Records 1983)

Iroko (Vital Records 1992)

Essence of Kwanzaa (Monkey Hill Records 1997)

Studies in Bata: Sacred Drum of the Yoruba, Havana to Matanzas (Bilsum Music Records 2002)

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