Born Leo Morris in the 13th Ward of New Orleans in 1939, Idris Muhammad started out as the drummer for a young group called the Hawkettes, which featured his neighbor Art Neville on piano. As a teenager, Muhammad went out on tour with Sam Cooke, and in the early 1960s became the house drummer for Harlem's Apollo Theater. Idris Muhammad has established himself as one of the world's premier drummers and has created the grooves for such legends as Lou Donaldson, Ahmad Jamal, and Pharoah Sanders, as well as producing an impressive body of recorded work under his own name. In recent years Muhammad has spent more time in New Orleans and has joined Donald Harrison Jr.'s Mardi Gras Indian tribe, Congo Nation, sewing his own suits and lending his unique percussive abilities to the Indian tradition. In a long line of acclaimed New Orleans drummers, Muhammad stands out as one of the true greats.