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Leigh Pilzer

Saxophonist/arranger Leigh Pilzer has performed at many of Washington, DC’s top jazz venues, including Blues Alley, Twins Jazz, Westminster Presbyterian, the Atlas Performing Arts Center, Jazz at the Garden, The Mansion at Strathmore, and the Takoma Park JazzFest, among others.

Leigh is a member of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, DIVA, the Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra, and Shannon Gunn and the Bullettes. With SJMO, DIVA, and the National Symphony Orchestra she has toured across the United States and in Austria, Canada, Croatia, Egypt, England, France, Germany, Holland, and Russia. She also freelances with a variety of ensembles in the mid-Atlantic region.

Leigh’s arrangements have been performed by the DC-area premier military jazz ensembles and by college and professional jazz ensembles and brass quintets throughout the country. DIVA has recorded several of Leigh’s big band arrangements: two can be heard on DIVA’s most recent CD, A Swingin’ Life (2014) and two more are included on the band’s first all-original release Special Kay (2016). Another was featured on the soundtrack for Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular (2014). Other arranging credits include large and small ensemble originals and arrangements on Introducing…, It Don’t Mean a Thing, and Bullettes and Friends by Shannon Gunn and the Bullettes; horn section writing for recordings by Chuck Brown and Eva Cassidy; and orchestrations for the critically acclaimed show Maurice Hines is Tappin’ Thru Life.

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”The depth of knowledge and musical prowess Leigh Pilzer exhibits on the baritone saxophone, clearly displays she is more than ready for her debut, and Strunkin’ establishes her as a formidable presence not to be taken lightly.” —H. Allen Williams, JazzTimes

“This CD shows off not only Leigh Pilzer’s talents as a musician and writer but the talent of everyone in her band. This makes a fine calling card for musicians who deserve to be better known.” —All About Jazz

“Strunkin’ purveys the straight-ahead jazz torch, showing a modern generation what makes this classic genre so iconic and timeless.” —Blogcritics

“Pilzer blows the big horn with the technique and panache of Mulligan, Challoff, Payne, Cuber, Temperley and just about any other baritone saxist you care to mention and after you've listened to Miss Ally in Allywood, you'll add Harry Carney to the mix.” —Bebop Spoken Here

“… a magnetic player whose sleek but barreling sound is probably as close as we’ll ever come to harnessing the spirit of bari innovator Harry Carney.” —Michael J

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Albums

DIVA + the Boys

MCG Jazz
2020

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Strunkin'

Self Produced
2016

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Dream With Me

From: Bernstein Reimagined
By Leigh Pilzer

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