Leon Brady – percussionist, bandleader and jazz educator
Leon A. Brady, Founder/Musical Director of Kansas City Youth Jazz and also Musical Director of the bands, is an educator and professional percussionist. Mr. Brady earned his Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Music Education from Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee.
He arrived in Kansas City in 1957 to teach at Northeast Junior High in Kansas City, Kansas. Later, he taught band, marching band, orchestra and jazz band at the old Sumner High School, earning many awards for excellence.
From 1976 to 2000, he owned and operated Brady & Sons Music Company & Studio in Kansas City, Kansas. In 2000, Mr. Brady closed the retail store to spend more time teaching. He currently instructs 35 percussion students, both privately and in groups. He has developed a unique program for students on the drum set as young as 4 years old.
Mr. Brady has also performed with many national and international musicians throughout his professional percussion career. While serving in the US Air Force, he performed regularly with John Williams and Frank Hitner, and later toured and recorded with Ray Charles. He has also performed with Max Roach, Clark Terry, George Salisbury, Marilyn Maye, Grover Washington, Carmel Jones, George Duke, John Park and many, many others.
Since closing the store, Mr. Brady, along with his wife, Linda, designed and developed the KC Youth Jazz Program, for Kansas City area music students. In October of 2007 Mr. Brady received the prestigious “Pinnacle Award” for his contributions to Kansas City Music Education.
Leon & Linda Brady, Kansas City Youth Jazz, Inc.
Linda Richter Brady is Executive Director of Kansas City Youth Jazz. She is a music educator and earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music from Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas in 1978, and earned a diploma in Band Instrument Repair from Western Iowa Tech School, Sioux City, Iowa in 1980. Mrs. Brady helps to develop and maintain Youth Jazz programs and works on fund development and grant writing.