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Jay Leonhart: Overdue Ovation

Jay Leonhart
Jay Leonhart

It was one for the books: 13 bass players lined up onstage in the showroom of the Holland America Line’s MS Oosterdam during the Jazz Cruise in October, to play an arrangement of “Sweet Georgia Brown” rechristened “Sweet Ray Brown” in honor of the departed bass giant. One of those 13 bassists was Jay Leonhart, for whom the moment had particular resonance.

“When I first heard the Oscar Peterson Trio with Ray and Herb Ellis, my future was decided,” says Leonhart. “I took up the bass violin seriously and never looked back.”

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