Primary Instrument: Bass, electric
Born in Rio de Janeiro and currently living near Washington, DC, bassist Leonardo Lucini has been bringing the sounds of Brazilian jazz to American audiences for over a decade.
Lucini is a virtuoso performer on electric and acoustic bass. Trained in both classical and jazz styles, he holds a master’s degree in music performance from University of Maryland. He is knowledgeable about many world music styles, including a vast range of Latin music. His own compositions are often based on unique Brazilian rhythmic styles, going far beyond the expected samba and bossa nova to Maracatu and Afoxe. His love of the music overflows. An able clinician, he also conducts lectures and workshops on Brazilian jazz.
Lucini has toured extensively in Europe, Asia and Australia. He has performed, recorded, and toured with many other international artists including flutist Nestor Torres; saxophonists Alex Han, Jeff Antoniuk, Raul Mascarenhas, Leo Gandelman and Chris Vadala; and pianists Arturo O’Farrill, Benito Gonzalez, Federico Pena, Cesar Orozco, Alex Brown, and Vince Evans; harmonica player Gregoir Mauret; and trumpet sensation Sean Jones.
In his native Brazil, Lucini has performed extensively with well-known artists such as saxophonist Paulo Moura, pianist and composer Marcos Valle, percussionist Marco Suzano, guitarist Rogerio Souza, the ever-popular Nó Em Pingo D'Agua and the Orquestra de Música Brasileira.
Leonardo Lucini's brother, Alejandro, is a gifted drummer and percussionist. The brothers live in Maryland, near Washington, DC. and perform often in the region (and beyond) with their band, Origem. They have graced the stages of the Kennedy Center and many Smithsonian concert halls, as well as popular venues in the “U” Street jazz district. They also accompany many other international performers in the District and on tour.
Origem has recorded one album, Ijexa, featuring the Lucini brothers and other stellar performers including flutist Enrique Rios, saxophonist Peter Fraize, and pianists Dan Reynolds, Jon Ozment, and Vince Evans. The selections range from Brazilian tunes to contemporary jazz and fusion, including originals - all given a Brazilian twist. A second disc is due out in 2012.
A gifted educator as well as a virtuoso performer, Lucini often combines concert performances with jazz education, employing his mastery of the bass guitar and his expertise in Brazilian and other Latin jazz styles. He has performed and offered clinics at Berklee College of Music, George Washington University, Goucher College, and University of Maryland. In the Washington, DC area, he has also led InDepth Jazz Clinics & Concerts and various workshops at institutions such as American University, George Mason University, Frederick Community College, and the Library of Congress. He is the former director of the award-winning String Orchestra of the Hyattsville Middle School for the Performing Arts and is currently an artist in residence at Montgomery College. He has won numerous distinctions and awards as an educator.
Lucini holds a master’s degree in jazz performance from the University of Maryland and is currently working toward a PhD. He graduated from Howard University with bachelor’s degree (magna cum laude). He began his undergraduate studies at University of Rio de Janeiro in 1990. Prior to that, he earned an Ear Training Certificate from Seminarios de Musica Pro Arte.
In a Capital Bop review of a November 2011 Blues Alley performance by Origem, reviewer Ken Avis says that the brothers “exude pure joy” when they play.
Origem's first album, Ijexa, was reviewed in the Washington Post by Mike Joyce, who says, “The brothers make for a nimble rhythm section --Alejandro on percussion; Leonardo on electric and acoustic bass” and goes on to comment on the band’s “resourcefulness and dexterity.”
All About Jazz comments that Origem “balances a unique blend of styles to develop a powerful musical experience built upon the African-derived rhythm that sensuously underpins much of the music heard during Carnival in Brazil. The Lucini brothers, drummer Alejandro and bassist Leonardo, bring their rhythmic telepathy to Brazilian classics, jazz standards and their own compositions.