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"Leonhardt filled the air with the velvety tones and toe tapping melodies that would have made Gershwin nod with approval."

The Intelligencer

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Fantastic Jazz Concert
Scranton Times
Jan 13, 2003

Over the past 25 years, David Leonhardt has become one of the most respected composers in jazz, but he’ll be playing nothing but covers Thursday at the University of Scranton’s Eagen Auditorium. The seasoned, versatile pianist and his group will perform “An Evening of Gershwin” in two shows presented by Scranton Community Concerts. Shows are at 6 and 8:30pm in the auditorium, which will be transformed into a candlelit cabaret. Catered dinners will also be offered at 6:30 and 8:30pm at the Scranton Estate on campus. A long-time veteran of television and radio, concerts and festivals, night clubs and stage shows, Mr. Leonhardt has appeared internationally throughout North and South America, Europe, the Middle and Far East. He recently arranged and recorded the No. 1 jazz CD, “Under a Woodstock Moon” with saxophonist David Newman and appeared with flautist Herbie Mann and bassist Ron Carter on the CD, “Celebration.” Mr. Leonhardt got his start as a teenager in Louisville, Kentucky, playing and studying with noted educator Jamey Aebersold and backing such diverse jazz talents as Buddy Defranco, Dave Liebman and Buddy Tate. He moved to New York in his 20s and quickly established himself as an international performing artist, touring for four years as pianist for jazz legend Jon Hendricks. He spent six years as a member of the “Fathead” Newman Quintet, which made him a staple of the New York jazz scene. He went on to co-lead a band, recording three CDs for the Muse label and performing in the U.S., Japan, and Europe. In 1993, he founded Big Bang Records and released his first CD, “Departure” to critical acclaim. He was musical director for the dance group Manhattan Tap for three years and is now the musical director and arranger for The Muhlenberg Jazz Tap Ensemble. A respected educator, Mr. Leonhardt gives clinics worldwide and writes for the magazine, “Piano Today”. He has twice been the Artist in Residence at Lafayette College and is on the roster of The Pennsylvania Arts On Tour. Area students ages 8-12 will have an opportunity to meet Mr. Leonhardt and his band at a “Jazz For Kids Seminar,” Thursday at 4 pm at the Eagen Auditorium. The seminar is free, but reservations are required.

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