Leonardo Emanuel Martins Cioglia was born in 1971 in the city of Brasilia, Brazil, where his music studies began when he was seven years old. In 1980 he joined the Escola de Musica de Brasilia (EMB), where he was selected to participate in the children's choir that performed on the first Opera seasons of Brasilia. At 14 years of age, after a pause from his studies at the EMB, Leonardo started playing electric-bass, having performed with various rock bands of his home town. In 1987, he returned to the EMB where, for the first time, he was exposed to an acoustic-bass.
In 1989, during an exchange program to Canada, Leonardo participated in a jazz festival and won a scholarship to study at Berklee College of Music. In 1991, he moved to Boston, where, in 1995, he graduated from Berklee with a degree in Professional Music. Upon graduating he formed Quizamba Music a production company dedicated to contemporary Brazilian music. That same year, he formed the Brazilian Jazz-Funk group Zabumbatuq and produced their first CD for Quizamba Music just prior to organizing the group's Swiss tour. Between 1996 and 1998 while in Boston, he produced and participated in various recordings including the sound track to the motion picture Next Stop Wonderland.