Jose Leonardo Leon
B.M. FIU, M.M. University of Miami
Born in Caracas, Venezuela. Bass trombonist and music educator Jose Leonardo Leon began playing trombone at the “Simon Bolivar” Youth Symphony Orchestras of Venezuela “El Sistema” with professors Antoine Duhamel, Jose Zerpa, and Jose Pardal. Jose Leon was one of eight fellows chosen by audition from the Carlos & Alegria Beracasa Foundation to participate in a two years program called Itinerant Conservatory where he received formal education in trombone techniques from renowned Soloists Michel Becquet (France) and Domingo Pagliuca (Venezuela). During 2001-04 seasons Jose was bass trombone substitute with the New World Symphony Orchestra in Miami, FL.
He has been a participant in theNorthwestern University Charles Vernon 2007-2008 Seminars held in Evanston, IL. In addition, Jose Leon has taken part of other festivals, seminars, master classes, and private lessons with professors such as Mark Hetzler, Charles Vernon, Hal Janks, John Marcellus, Joseph Alessi, Keith Brown, Ben Sluchin, Olaf Ott, and most recently with Tim Conner, Massimo La Rosa, Randy Hawes, and James Markey.
Mr. Leon has been the Bass trombonist with the Miami Symphony Orchestra (MISO) since his appointment in the 2007 season and the Ft. Lauderdale’s Symphony of The Americas from the 2011-2012 season. Along with these, Jose Leon is the permanent guest Bass and Tenor trombonist with the Florida Grand Opera including the most recent Zarzuela Series under Maestro Placido Domingo. Jose has performed as guest trombonist with different symphonic organizations such as the Bilbao Symphony Orchestra (Spain), The Sarasota Orchestra, The Southwest Florida Symphony, Opera Naples, the Atlantic Classical Orchestra, the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Venezuela, and the Orquesta Sinfónica of Venezuelaamong others.
His versatility as a commercial bass and tenor trombonist has given him the opportunity to participate in live performances and recording sessions with jazz and commercial artists such as Arturo Sandoval, Ed Calle’s Big band, the Manhattan Transfer, producers Mike Lewis, Marcos Campos Salas, singers Nancy Reed, Dee Daniels, Maureen McGovern, Maelo Ruiz, Eugenia Mendez, and most recently with trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, and singers Michael Feinstein, Ann Hampton Callaway , Nicole Henry, and Broadway “Glee” star Idina Menzel.
Among different orchestras and large ensembles, Jose Leon has performed with the Bob Hoose’s Orchestra, Dan Salmasian’s Band, the Palm Beach Pops Orchestra, the Florida Sunshine Pops, the FIU Jazz Band under directors Richard Dunscomb and Chip McNeal, Los Adolescent’s Orchestra, Manuel Guerra, and Salserin, and most recently with the multi-Grammy nominated Miami based “Tiempo Libre”, and the South Florida Jazz Orchestra among others. Most Recently, Jose Leonardo Leon has been appointed the bass trombonist for the 2010-2011 season of the multi awarded University of Miami Concert Jazz Band under the direction of trombonist Dante Luciani.
Jose Leonardo Leon received a Festival Donors Scholarship to obtain his Bachelors degree in Music Performance at the Florida International University from the trombone studio of Empire Brass trombonist Mark Hetzler. Jose Leon received a scholarship award from the Frost School of Music which has allowed him to earn the degree of Master’s of Music Performance and Brass Pedagogy with Honors in trombone at the University of Miami.
Jose L. Leon has participated as a performer in different music festivals and events such as the Chicago Midwest Clinic accompanying clarinetist Eddie Daniels and trumpeter Bobby Shew, the Elkhart Jazz Festival, the Hollywood Jazz Festival, Festival Miami, and the FIU Music Festival 2005 in which he performed, together with trombonists Mike Zion and Steve Rivero, the South Florida premier of Michael Daugherty’s “Rosa Parks Boulevard” for three trombones and wind ensemble.