Doc Gibbs is one of the most sought after percussionists in the music industry today. Whether he's recording, touring or kickin' it up a notch with Emeril Lagasse. Doc musically operates on an audience with funky rhythms and with his vast assortment of traditional and unusual percussion instruments.
Doc received his so-called "Doc"-torate from the late, legendary jazz saxophonist, Grover Washington, Jr. While recording Grover's “Live at the Bijou” album in 1976, Grover acknowledged Doc for prescribing an herbal remedy for a nasty cold that Grover was suffering from the night before taping. Overnight, Leonard Gibbs became Doc when Grover announced to his audience, "...There are two doctors in Philly ... Dr.J (of the 76ers) and Doctor Gibbs." A nickname that appropriately describes a musician who truly performs with the precision of a surgeon.
Doc's love of hand drums and percussion instruments began in the early seventies, when he left the Pennsylvania Academy of Fines Art to pursue his real dream - a career as a master percussionist. Early in his career, Doc immediately caught the attention of the music industry's top artists, including George Benson, Nancy Wilson, Bob James, Al Jarreau and Anita Baker, to name a few. Most recently, Doc's percussive reputation has placed him in the studio with Wyclef Jean, Erykah Badu, Eric Benet and hot R&B producer, James Poyser, among others.
BAM!!! The icing on the cake for Doc came in 1997, when he became the musical director for Emeril Live! -- The hottest cooking show on the cable Food Network (TVFN). Doc has been beating it up to a Manhattan television studio to add his funky flavors of hand drums and signature percussion instruments for a little extra spice into the pots of cooking guru, Emeril Lagasse.
" Doc has brought a new dimension to solidifying an element to the show...a relationship, a sound, a movement." -Emeril Lagasse, "The Making of Emeril" TV Special (TVFN)
Doc is also an elected member of the Board of Governors of N.A.R.A.S. (National Association of Recording Artists and Sciences), Philadelphia chapter.
He performs drum workshops for children with Young Audiences of Eastern Pennsylvania and the Strings for Schools Organizations.
His album, "Servin' It Up! Hot!" , has been nationally released in June 2002.
He may not be a practicing physician, but Philly native Leonard "Doc" Gibbs approaches his craft with the precision of surgeon. His informal medical standing came about in the mid-seventies when the expert session percussionist was gigging with famed saxophonist Grover Washington. The lore has it that Gibbs conducted an examination on Grover in a break, identified an ailment, then prescribed a herbal remedy so effective that it prompted the horn player to exclaim to the crowd upon returning to the stage, "There are two doctors in Philly: Dr. J (the 76ers) and Doctor Gibbs." Originally a nickname, "Doc" soon took over the given name and the musical community knows him as Doc Gibbs. So does a sizeable portion of those who tune in to culinary shows on The Food Network. In 1997, Doc became the musical director for Emeril Live!, the popular cooking show featuring Emeril Lagasse. It enjoyed a solid ten-year run and featured a mixture of entertaining guests, Creole-influenced cooking and, to be sure, lots of Doc on camera.
In the early seventies, Doc studied music at the Pennsylvania School of Fine Arts. The lure of the road was strong, however, and he abandoned formal training. Strongly influenced by Mongo Santamaria and Ralph MacDonald, Doc Gibbs has forged a career peppered with top names such as Erykah Badu, Anita Baker, Ricki Lee Jones, Bob James, George Benson, Nancy Wilson, and Wyclef Jean. An affable percussionist who lays down exquisitely comfortable grooves, Doc is a first-call studio player and has over 200 albums to his credit. Doc's latest album under his own name, released in 2002, was entitled Servin' It Up Hot!
Doc Gibbs is also an elected member of the board of governors of the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences, Philadelphia chapter. Doc believes in "giving something back" and, to that end, he performs drum seminars for children under the auspices of Young Audiences of Eastern Pennsylvania and Strings for Schools. In addition, he is a co-founder of the spiritually infused organization Drums for Peace, which seeks to invoke the power of percussion in support of global harmony.
Toca is proud that Doc Gibbs has chosen Toca Percussion instruments exclusively. Explaining his choice, Doc says: "They just sound great!" He plays a variety of instruments from the varied Toca percussion catalog.
- Toca Percussion