Born: February 18, 1958 Primary Instrument: Piano
Max Leake began his musical training at age six. By the time he was 15, he was working with local Pittsburgh bands and backing up national acts in local supper clubs. At the age of 18, Max was traveling around the country with acts such as the Ink Spots and the Marcels.
Max spent time playing in show-bands in the Catskill Mountains of New York backing up variety acts, comedians and singers. He also cruised around the Western hemisphere as house pianist in the showbands on many different Princess Cruise ships.
In 1985 he released his self-produced album Buns in the Sun on Visionary Records, a record label started by Max and Mike Hurzon (owner of the Tracking Station, an independent record promotion company). The album drew widespread airplay nationally and was reviewed favorably by many newspapers and trade publications.
Max has gone on to produce, compose for and record with dozens of other artists including Mesa Blue Moon recording artist Tim Eyermann and East Coast Offering, Heads Up records artist Kenny Blake, Salsamba, Billy Price and the Balcony Big Band on Corona Records.
Max has been recording, composing, arranging and performing for 27 years with some of the best jazz and blues artists in the world including Roger Humphries, Stanley Turrentine, Rick Margitza, Dwayne Dolphin, Henry Johnson, Rebecca Parris, Billy Price, Joe Negri, Sandy Staley, the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild Orchestra, Tommy Tedesco, David Fathead Newman, Don Laterski, Al Dowe and Etta Cox and the Balcony Big Band, just to name a few. He was voted Best Jazz Keyboardist in the In Pittsburgh music awards in 1989, 1991 and in 1995.
Ten years ago, Max began composing and performing music for websites, videos, planetarium shows and CD-ROMs for various advertising and multi-media production companies with his own home-based music production company. Five years ago he joined forces with CommerSel Studios, a Pittsburgh Web and Multimedia design studio, where he was manager of multimedia services and a senior IT consultant. He is currently an independent consultant and actively performing, composing, arranging and producing for live performance, multimedia and recordings.
Discography As a sideman:
Kenny Blake - Love I Know Your Name, 1982 Kenny Blake - Rumor Has It, HeadsUp Records, 1991 Kenny Blake - Since You Asked, HeadsUp Records,1993 Billy Price - Danger Zone, Corona, 1993 Billy Price - The Soul Collection, Corona, 1997 Al Dowe and Etta Cox - Sunday Jam, Dowdel, 1996 Salsamba - Latinventions, Clave', 1998 Balcony Big Band - Seasoned To Taste, Corona, 1993 The Gathering Field - Reliance, 1999 Bill Deasy - Spring Lies Waiting, Onoma, 1999 Last Call at the Balcony, WDUQ Jazz, 1998 Lisa Ferraro, Timeless, 2003 Dwayne Dolphin - 4Robin, AAM records, 2004 Lisa Marranaci - Waiting For Spring, 2004 /w Joe Negri As a leader:
Buns In The Sun - Visionary Records, 1985 Trios - Corona Music, 2004