Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Leonhardt, David (Emil)

Leonhardt, David (Emil), pianist and composer; b. Louisville, KY, 2 September 1956. His parents are Lawrence Edwin Leonhardt and Martha Doll Leonhardt. He has two brothers, Mark and Peter, and two sisters, Teri and Carol.

Performing and studying as a teenager in Louisville, Kentucky with noted educator Jamey Aebersold, 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 Leonhardt established himself as an international performing artist when he toured for four years as pianist 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.

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.

David's thirty 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. At present 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, Birdland, and Sweet Basil. He is a well known educator, gives clinics world wide, and has written for the magazine "Piano Today". Leonhardt is on the roster of The Pennsylvania Arts On Tour.

Departure (1992); Reflections (1995); Swingin' Tappin' and Jammin' (1995); The Challenge (1997); A Time For Love (with Nancy Reed) (1997); Smokin' (1997); Jazz For Dancers (1998); The David Leonhardt Jazz Group Plays Gershwin (1999); Jazz For Kids (2002)
As sideperson:
David "Fathead" Newman: Under A Woodstock Moon, Mr. Gentle Mr. Cool; Herbie Mann: Celebration
As producer/arranger:
Carryin' On (with Michele Hendricks, Stan Getz, Ray Drummond, Marvin "Smitty" Smith and Ralph Moore); Keepin' Me Satisfied (with Michele Hendricks, David Newman, Slide Hampton, Claudio Roditti, Ray Drummond, and Marvin "Smitty" Smith); Me and My Shadow (with Michele Hendricks, Jon Hendricks, James Williams, Ray Drummond, and Marvin "Smitty" Smith); American Jones (with Akira Tana, Kenny Davis, Lonnie Plaxico, Marvin "Smitty" Smith, Sean Sullivan, and David Newman)
Film soundtracks:
David Leonhardt composed the soundtrack for the award winning film "Ain't No King Comin'", which won the 1987 NYU best film award and the 1987 Mobil best film award.

Contact information:
David Leonhardt
Leonhardt Music
Big Bang Records
90 Stage coach Drive
Easton, Pa 18042

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