Leon learned congas from his father, Leon, Sr., who was the lead drummer for the Essex County African Dance Society. The traditional African, Afro-Cuban and Latin jazz rhythms and sounds would forever inform his artistry. His mother, Delores, possessed of an incredible range, would help to define the melodic style that would become his sound.
Leon's dream of learning saxophone would be realized when he began taking formal lessons with (now Dr.) Bill Phipps in 1974. His first solo would be to the late Freddie Hubbard's Little Sunflower.
He would go on to learn from others, perform in some of the most prominent venues in the area...