Born: August 10, 1956 Primary Instrument: Saxophone
Saxophonist, producer, composer and arranger, music has always been present in Leo Gandelman's life. Son of a classic pianist and a conductor, at 15 years old he was already a Soloist with the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra. Besides having a solid classical training, he studied Jazz at Berklee College of Music in Boston, returning to Brazil in 1979 to start his professional career.
His music is inspired especially by MPB (Brazilian Popular Music) and Jazz, and always composed in a very versatile and inventive way. These characteristics have led Leo to be elected during 15 years in a row “The Best Brazilian Instrumentalist” by the pool “Diretas na Música” from Jornal do Brasil (Brazilian newspaper).
Leo has already released 11 solo albums besides 7 compilations having already sold more than 500.000 records, and is today recognized as an Icon in his segment. His music was also released with great success in the United States, where Leo has lived and developed a prominent career within the last decade, including six sold out seasons at the Blue Note, in New York.During this period, he also joined the band “Masters of Groove”, formed by the legendaries Bernard Purdie, Grant Green and Rueben Wilson. Leo returned to his roots in classical music during his last three years in NY, participating as a soloist in the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra at the Lincoln Center and in Central Park in 2001. He also played as a soloist in the OSESP (São Paulo Symphony Orchestra) conducted by John Neschling, Ribeirão Preto Symphony Orchestra, and Bahia Symphony Orchestra among others, playing Villa Lobos' Fantasy to Soprano Sax and Orchestra as well as the Concertino to Alto Sax, by Radames Gnatalli.
In 2004 Leo was invited to play the Independence Day Concert to President Lula and authorities in Brasilia. Leo Gandelman was also host of the TV shows Momento Jazz (Jazz Moment), at Multishow channel - on Globosat/Net and The Free Jazz In Concert at Manchete TV. Since October 2009 Leo hosts a radio show called Instrumental MPB. Recently Leo won two prices as best Film Score with the soundtrack of the movie “ Garrincha, A Estrela Solitária “. Producing soundtracks is another Leo’s passion in music. Leo is now releasing a new DVD: “Sabe Você, with one of the best Brazilian artists as guests like Milton Nascimento, Chico Buarque, Caetano Veloso, Ney Matogrosso, Luis Melodia and Leila Pinheiro among others. The DVD is a tribute to Brazilian Ballads.