David Leonhardt: Jazz for Dancers

David Leonhardt: Jazz for Dancers
Title: Jazz for Dancers
Label: CD Baby

David Leonhardt pianist and composer bio -Career Highlights Twenty year with saxophonist David "Fathead" Newman: arranging and playing on four CDs, international tours. 1988-2008 Four year as musical director for jazz vocalist Jon Hendricks: international tours, jazz festivals, radio and TV broadcasts. 1983-1987 President and founder of Big Bang Records with eighteen CDs as a leader. 1993 to present. Fifteen years leading The David Leonhardt Jazz Group a concert ensemble with hundreds of performances: theaters, Universities, Colleges, festivals, arts organizations US, Canada and Europe. 1993-2008 Twelve years freelance experience in New York City. Broadway to the Today Show, jazz clubs to dance halls, Bar Mitzvahs and weddings to cabaret clubs and Lincoln Center, jingles to jazz records. 1980-1992 Twenty years performing with legendary Tap Dancers. Musical director for Manhattan Tap and The Shelley Oliver Tap Dancers including National and European tours, television and DVDs. 1987 to 2008 Decades of experiences as a jazz educator in universities, colleges, clinics and workshops. Ten years of presenting "Jazz For Kids" an interactive children's program. First jazz experience playing piano as a teenager with jazz educator Jamey Aebersold in concerts, clubs and school presentations in Louisville, KY. 1974-1980 First professional engagement at the age of 14 in a teenage rock band. First road experience with a southern rock band touring Dixie age 16. 1970-1976 BIO David Leonhardt, jazz pianist and composer, is a highly skilled and versatile artist. His thirty seven years of professional experience has included recordings, T.V. and radio, concerts and festivals, night clubs and stage shows. He has appeared internationally throughout North and South America, Europe, the Middle and Far East with some of the biggest names in jazz. He leads his own concert ensemble The David Leonhardt Jazz Group and is the founder and president of Big Bang Records with fifteen CDs as a leader. Recently Mr. Leonhardt arranged and recorded a jazz CD with saxophonist David 'Fathead' Newman, and released the CDs 'I'll Be Home For Christmas' and 'In The Moment'. Mr. Leonhardt is on the roster of The Pennsylvania Arts On Tour and gives educational clinics worldwide. Performing and studying as a teenager in Louisville, Kentucky with noted educator Jamey Aebersold, Mr. Leonhardt acquired his skills backing such diverse jazz talents as Buddy Defranco, Dave Liebman, and Buddy Tate. After moving to New York City in his twenties Mr. Leonhardt established himself as an international performing artist when he toured for four years as musical director for jazz legend Jon Hendricks, accompanying vocalists such as Diane Reeves and Bobby McFarren. Joining The David 'Fathead' Newman Quintet he furthered his reputation as a burning jazz pianist and made his name familiar on the New York jazz scene. He went on to form his own band performing in the U.S., Japan, and Europe. In 1991 he founded Big Bang Records and released his first CD 'Departure' to great critical acclaim as well as his popular CD 'Reflections'. Mr. Leonhardt has produced, arranged, and performed on numerous recordings with jazz stars Stan Getz, Slide Hampton, Jon Hendricks, Eddie Henderson, Robin Eubanks, Ray Drummond, and Lewis Nash. His compositions have been recorded by such jazz greats as Stanley Turentine, David 'Fathead' Newman, Hank Crawford, and Claudio Roditi. He has written arrangements for The Art Blakey Big Band and been guest conductor and arranger for The Benny Carter Orchestra. At present Mr. Leonhardt is leading his own band with successful appearances at the International Arts Festival of Shenzen in China, the Winnipeg Jazz Festival, The French Maison de Dance in Lyon, as well festivals and concerts throughout the United States. His all star group has been heard at The Apollo Theater, The Blue Note, and Birdland. He is the musical director for The Shelley Oliver Tap Dancers a popular all female dance group. WHAT THE CRITICS SAY 'David Leonhardt, an intense and swinging artist alert to every mood.' Leonard Feather, Los Angeles Times 'The David Leonhardt Trio provided first rate jazz.' Burt Supree, Village Voice 'The superb David Leonhardt Trio....' Bob Harrington, New York Post 'Mr. Leonhardt on piano is also musical director. The troupe is fortunate to have him.' Jack Anderson, New York Times '...David Leonhardt, who played with ease, respect, and good cheer.' Phillip Elwood, San Francisco Chronicle 'Leonhardt explored the piece in a solo that showed his understanding of space as well as notes.' Stuart Troup, New York Newsday '...a stellar rhythm section, featuring David Leonhardt on piano.' Variety 'Backed by the superb David Leonhardt Trio, with expert and sensitive piano work by Leonhardt.' Back Stage '... a fiery solo by pianist David Leonhardt.' Royal Stokes, Washington Post 'Leonhardt is doing just fine in the jazz world.' Gene Williams, Louisville Courier Journal 'David Leonhardt is a very swinging articulate pianist' Porland Jazz Notes 'Mr. Leonhardt's Group gives refreshing insight to the music of Georger Gershwin' Jazz News 'Leonhardt's Jazz Group is Magnificent' Jazz Hot David Leonhardt Interview Taken and Transcribed by Ludwig Van Trikt CADENCE: What was your early beginning like? DAVID LEONHARDT: My first professional job was at the age of 14 in Louisville, KY. I was playing organ in a teen rock and roll band and that job was for a basement make-out party for teenagers when the parents were out of town. I knew from that moment I wanted to be a professional musician. What could be better than being the center of attention to all my peers? Having the girls think I was cool didn't hurt either. Also, I sensed from the start that when the music is playing and the best is happening, the moment has been lifted out of the ordinary. Even then that feeling of being part of something larger than myself was powerful and profound. That band went on to be popular in central Kentucky and we did a lot of high school dances or roller rink dances where the kids would roller skate for two hours then dance for two hours. We were so young that we could not even drive so our moms would load us into their station wagons with all our amps and PA equipment; they would take us all over Kentucky. We played every weekend for a few years. In those days we called it "playing". Later when I started playing with older musicians for more money, we called it "working". Somehow, that change in wording made us feel more grown up. My first girlfriend was a teenage groupie who would follow us around from gig to gig and my next girlfriend was the singer in the band. That pretty much set the pattern for the next twenty years of my life as far as relationships went. That band won a big local battle of the bands and we were awarded a big expensive PA system that was our downfall. Once we had assets we started to argue over them and eventually broke up. After that I joined a southern rock band that copied Allman Brothers songs. I was 16 and the other guys were in their 20's and we were playing Blues bars and nightclubs, playing till the wee hours of the morning. They nicknamed me "The Kid" and I had to lie about my age to play in the clubs. I was the only one in the band that could read music. I would say that sex, drugs, and Rock and Roll was their mantra so it gave me a real education. Back then my audience was bikers and drinkers and people looking to hook up and get high. A real discerning crowd. I loved every minute of it and moved out of my parents house when I was 17. By then I was playing a Wurlitzer electric piano and a Hammond organ. After a year of that I joined a roadhouse country and western band that played six nights a week for a couple years at a country dance hall. The bar owner was the worst. He hated the musicians and made our life hell. But that was where I learned to belly up to the bar and order a drink. We were playing

1.1 Blues in the Night
1.2 Cheek to Cheek
1.3 When I Fall in Love
1.4 That's All
1.5 Fly Me to the Moon
1.6 Georgia on My Mind
1.7 In a Mellow Tone
1.8 Quiet Nites of Quiet Stars
1.9 Late Night Blues
1.10 On the Sunny Side of the Street
1.11 Jammin' Slow Blues
1.12 Somewhere Over the Rainbow
1.13 Strike Up the Band

David Leonhardt: Jazz for Dancers

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