TROMBONIST & EDUCATOR
JOSE LEONARDO LEON
D.M.A University of Colorado Boulder College of Music
B.M. FIU, M.M. University of Miami
PERFORMANCE EXPERIENCE (CLASSICAL)
As a classical performer, Jose Leonardo Leon has served with the Miami Symphony Orchestra, the Symphony of The Americas, Florida Grand Opera, Bilbao Symphony Orchestra (Spain), Orquesta Sinfonica de la UNAM (OFUNAM) Mexico City, the Orquesta Filarmonica de Jalisco (Mexico), and the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, and artists such as Maestro Placido Domingo, Andrea Bocelli, Spanish Brass, Jacques Mauger, Scott Hartman, Michael Tilson Thomas, Juanjo Mena, and Jan Latham-Koenig, among others.
PERFORMANCE EXPERIENCE (COMMERCIAL/JAZZ)
His versatility as a commercial bass and tenor trombonist has given Dr. Leon the opportunity to participate in either live performances and/or recording sessions with jazz and commercial artists such as Idina Menzel, Arturo Sandoval, Ed Calle, the Manhattan Transfer, Eddie Daniels, Bobby Shew, Mike Lewis, Marcos Campos Salas, Porfi Baloa, Manuel Guerra, Nancy Reed, Dee Daniels, Maureen McGovern, Maelo Ruiz, Eugenia Mendez, Wycliffe Gordon, Michael Feinstein, Ann Hampton Callaway, Nicole Henry, Michael Brecker, Bobby Watson, Bob Mintzer, Shelly Berg, Chip McNeal, Paquito D' Rivera, Paul Mckee, Brad Goode, the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame Orchestra, the University of Miami Concert Jazz band (CJB), and the 16th Annual Latin Grammy® Winner CD recording Ed Calle presents "Mamblue".
PERFORMANCE EXPERIENCE (FESTIVALS / CONFERENCES)
Other performance experiences for Jose Leonardo Include the Thompson Jazz Studies-University of Colorado Costa Rica Tour 2017, the 3rd edition of the URUBRASS International Summit (Montevideo-Uruguay) 2016, the International Trombone Festival (Valencia-Spain 2015), the 2015 Festival of the Arts Boca Orchestra in Palm Beach-Florida, the 2014 Ashkenaz Festival in Toronto-Canada, the Montreal Jewish Music Festival 2014 in Montreal-Canada, 2013 Temenos I Faculty Artist Recital University of Miami, LYNN University Conservatory of Music Guest Artist Recital 2012, the 2012 and 2013 editions of the Semana Nacional del Trombon in Mexico, CBDNA National Conference 2011 in Seattle-Washington, the Jazz Education Network Conference 2011 in New Orleans-Louisiana 2011, the National System for Music Education Academic Week in Mexico City-Mexico, the Elkhart Jazz Festival, the Hollywood Jazz Festival, Festival Miami, the Chicago Midwest Clinic, among others.
PREMIERS AND COMMISSIONS
In March 2013, Dr. Leon premiered the Solo Version of composer Thomas Sleeper's re:Joyce at special recital TEMENOS I hosted by the University of Miami Frost School of Music Gusman Concert Hall which has been positively acclaimed by the critic such as the South Florida Classical Review by critic Lawrence Budmen:
"Re: Joyce, Opus B, a showpiece for bass trombone, is based on James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake, even including a drinking song from the novel in a central episode. The electronics that substituted for the orchestral part did not really do justice to the churning instrumental timbres. Still, you had to love the growls, muted wails and crackling roars Jose Leonardo Leon drew from the instrument, devilishly conceived by Sleeper. With a capital soloist like Leon and a full orchestra, this work could be a real crowd pleaser". Also, in April 2013, Dr. Jose Leon commissioned Monolith for Bass trombone and trombone quintet by Floridian Composer Alejandro Guardia, which was premiered at the 3rd Annual Trombone Week Gala Concert at the University of Aguascalientes in Mexico. Most recently, Jose Leonardo Leon premered the bass trombone and piano version of Uruguayan composer and trombonist Ricardo Arbiza "Aires Rioplatenses" performed as part of his first DMA Recital at the University of Colorado Boulder College of Music Grusin Concert Hall. In July 2016, Jose premiered the original bass trombone and bandoneon version of Arbiza's piece together with bandoneonist Sergio Astengo in the city of Montevideo, Uruguay as part of the performances within the URUBRASS International Festival 2016. Jose's most recent commissioned piece has been a three-movement piece written by Venezuelan composer Andres Eloy Rodriguez entitled A Short Account of a Long Journey, premiered in April 2018 as part of Leon's final DMA recital at CU Boulder and included in his recent released album JOURNEY available in iTunes, CDBaby, and most digital platforms.
In July 2016 the Spanish trombone website Revista Española de Trombones (Spanish Trombone Magazine) published Jose Leonardo Leon’s complete analysis of Robert Spillman's Concerto for Bass Trombone originally written in English by Mr. Leon and translated in Spanish by Puerto Rican Educator Janet Maldonado.
Jose Leonardo Leon began playing trombone at the “Simon Bolivar” Youth Symphony Orchestras of Venezuela “El Sistema” with professors Antoine Duhamel, Jose Zerpa, Luis Collins, and Jose Pardal. Through winning a position in to the fellowship program sponsored by the Carlos & Alegria Beracasa Foundation, Jose Leonardo Leon participated as a bass trombone student in the two years Itinerant Conservatory program where he received formal education from renowned soloists Michel Becquet (France) and Domingo Pagliuca (Venezuela). Once in the U.S., Jose received his Bachelor Degree from the studio of Empire Brass latest trombonist Mark Hetzler at Florida International University and his Master Degree in Performance from the studio of Tim Conner at the University of Miami Frost School of Music. During the 2001-04 seasons Jose was the bass trombone substitute with the New World Symphony Orchestra under the baton of maestro Michael Tilson Thomas. Jose’s other educational experiences include the Northwestern University 2007-2008 Seminars with Chicago Symphony bass trombonist Charles Vernon, and summer private lesson sessions and intensive training with professors Hal Janks and John Marcellus. Recently, Jose Leonardo Leon has earned the Doctor of Musical of Arts degree in Trombone Performance and Pedagogy at the University of Colorado-Boulder College of Music in the studio of Dr. William Stanley.