Born in Chicago, Illinois in 1932, Jenkins was already performing violin at the age of 8 at his local Ebenezeer Baptist Church. The flavor of spritiuals still remains in his music. He studied music in high school and then attended Florida A&M University Born in Chicago, Illinois in 1932, Jenkins was already performing violin at the age of 8 at his local Ebenezeer Baptist Church. The flavor of spritiuals still remains in his music. He studied music in high school and then attended Florida A&M University where he studied with Bruce Hayden and completed his B.S. in music. For the next ten years Jenkins remained in the South teaching music.
Jenkins returned to Chicago in 1965 and was drawn into the well spring of Chicago s creative music activities. Almost immediately, he joined the Association for the Advancement of Creative Music (AACM). Jenkins recalls that this union marked the first time that as a violin player he was truly welcomed into creative music performances. During this time he played and recorded with Muhal Richard Abrams , Leo Smith and Anthony Braxton .
In 1969, Jenkins left for Paris with Braxton and Smith. With the addition of drummer Steve McCall , they formed the Creative Construction Company . Their 1970 performance in New York, joined by f20 Richard Davis on bass and Abrams on piano, gave New York the first taste of the new music that Chicago musicians were creating.
Jenkins continued to work with the finest creative musicians.... Archie Shepp , Albert Ayler , Alice Coltrane , Mtume , Cal Massey , to name a few. But it was the work of the collective Revolutionary Enemble (co-founded with bassist Sirone and drummer Jerome Cooper) that gained Jenkins prominence as the most significant violinist of the modern era. par
Leroy works in a multitude of contexts. His recording on Tomato, Space Minds, New Worlds, Survival in America has received rave reviews. He is performing in solo, trio and quintet contexts, and is also performing in duo settings with woodwindist Oliver Lake .