Jay Leonhart

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Jay Leonhart
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Jay Leonhart, during video interview on the Jazz Cruise 2012
By Lee Mergner

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Jay Leonhart has had a dual career. He is an excellent bassist with an endless number of credits, and he is also a witty vocalist and lyricist who has been inspired by Dave Frishberg and Tom Lehrer. Born in late 1940 in Baltimore, Leonhart was part of a very musical family. By the time he was 7, he was already playing banjo, guitar, mandolin and bass. A few years later he and his older brother Bill appeared on Baltimore television, singing and playing banjo while using a repertoire that included both jazz and country music. When he was 14, Leonhart played bass with the Pier Five Dixieland Jazz Band. He studied music at Berklee during 1960-61 and with Oscar Peterson and Ray Brown at the Advanced School of Contemporary Music in Toronto during 1961-62.

Leonhart moved to New York in 1961, worked with the Buddy Morrow Orchestra and pianist Mike Longo, and then became extremely busy in the studios. Since then he has played with scores of major jazz musicians including Marian McPartland, Jim Hall, Mel Tormé, the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, Phil Woods, Gerry Mulligan, Lee Konitz, Louie Bellson, Bill Charlap and Wycliffe Gordon. He has also worked with Tony Bennett. After getting married in 1968 and having two children (trumpeter Michael Leonhart and singer Carolyn Leonhart), he was inspired to start singing again and to write songs about his kids. Jay Leonhart, who has led 15 albums for such labels as DMP, Sunnyside, Nesak, DRG and Sons of Sound, has performed a one-man musical show titled The Bass Lesson, in addition to continuing his busy freelance activities.

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Articles on Jay Leonhart

07/29/12    In Person    By Lee Mergner

Jay Leonhart: The Bass Lesson, Tulips & Jazz

08/13/11    News    By Jeff Tamarkin

Toronto's JAZZ.FM91 Announces 2011-2012 Concert Schedule

June 2007    Eighty-Eights    By Thomas Conrad

Alone Together
Ben Aronov/Jay Leonhart

June 2007    Eighty-Eights    By Thomas Conrad

Alone Together
Ben Aronov/Jay Leonhart

April 2007    Overdue Ovation    By George Kanzler

Jay Leonhart: Overdue Ovation

April 2007    Albums    By Mike Shanley

This Rhythm on My Mind
Wycliffe Gordon and Jay Leonhart

July/August 2006    Guitartistry    By Mike Shanley

Gypsy Swing
Various Artists

July/August 2006    Guitartistry    By Mike Shanley

Gypsy Swing
Various Artists

May 2005    Albums    By Harvey Siders

Cool
The Jay Leonhart Trio

May 2005    Albums    By Harvey Siders

Cool
The Jay Leonhart Trio

May 2003    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Rodgers and Leonhart
Jay Leonhart

July/August 2002    Albums    By Harvey Siders

Manhattan Swing: A Visit With the Duke
Bucky Pizzarelli/John Bunch/Jay Leonhart

06/27/02    Concerts    By Ira Gitler

"Happy Birthday, Gentleman John" - A Birthday Salute to John Bunch

April 2002    Albums    By Harvey Siders

Galaxies and Planets
Jay Leonhart

January/February 2000    Albums    By Sunsh Stein

Great Duets
Jay Leonhart

January/February 2000    Albums    By Sunsh Stein

Group 15 Plays Monk
Jay Leonhart

January/February 2000    Albums    By Sunsh Stein

Sensitive to the Touch: The Music of Harold Arlen
Jay Leonhart

Albums

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Group 15 Plays Monk

Sunnyside
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Sensitive to the Touch: The Music of Harold Arlen

Groove Jams
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Great Duets

Chiaroscuro Records
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Galaxies and Planets

Sons of Sound
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Rodgers and Leonhart

Sons of Sound
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Cool

Sons of Sound
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Gypsy Swing

Kind of Blue
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Manhattan Swing: A Visit With the Duke

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This Rhythm on My Mind

Bluesback
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Alone Together

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