Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Juan Blanco: Nuestro Tiemo reviewed in Musicworks



Great to see this review of my CD with Juan Blanco in Muscworks. "I admit that my first close encounter with Nuestro Tiempo was akin to stumbling upon an alien spacecraft (with vintage gear percolating inside) … Beam me up, Blanco."

Friday, July 5, 2013

From Granma, Cuba's daily newspaper


A recent article from Il Corriere della Umbria

























A recent article from Il Corriere della Umbria on a concert with Alessandro Petrolati, Carlo Fatigoni and the Urbino Laptop Orchestra

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Reviews of 53+1=54+1=55.Letter of the Year

I am pleased to share reviews of 53+1=54+1=55.Letter of the Year in following publications:


New York TimesArt News
BBC
Granma
Sapodeo Tropozo
UNDO
The Culture Trip

María Magdalena Campos-Pons & Neil Leonard

53+1=54+1=55.Letter of the Year
A multimedia sculptural installation

55th Venice Biennale
Museum of Archeology, Piazza San Marco, Venice
The Cuba Republic Pavilion, La Perversion de lo Clasico: Anarquia de los Relatos.
June 1 - Nov 24, 2013

Monday, June 10, 2013

53+1=54+1=55.Letter of the Year




















María Magdalena Campos-Pons & Neil Leonard

53+1=54+1=55.Letter of the Year
A multimedia sculptural installation

55th Venice Biennale
Museum of Archeology, Piazza San Marco, Venice
The Cuba Republic Pavilion, La Perversion de lo Clasico: Anarquia de los Relatos.

June 1 - Nov 24, 2013
Opening: May 31, 2013, 5:00 pm

53+1=54+1=55.Letter of the Year is a multimedia installation about home, migration, the necessity of finding and redefining the meaning of permanency and locality. Birdcages were used by emperors and common men to capture beauty and to dream of freedom. From Yoruba deities, to Leonardo da Vinci, to space travel today, men and women have always dreamed of flight as embodying a lightness of being.

The interviews in the birdcages document the reconstruction of a dialogue between Cuban residents and their family members who live abroad, and the transformative power of this exchange. The sonic environment is complemented by recordings of street criers, known as pregoneros, a reflection of the increased liberalization of small businesses that exists within a void of corporate control. The voices in the cages elude physical, political and cultural borders in contemporary society. The small videos featured inside the cages were conceived as a performative response to the historical weight of the exhibition site.

The installation is a construct of architecture and sound, old and new, evoking a country that is evolving. And, like birds, people keep singing their songs of hope and freedom.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

María Magdalena Campos-Pons & Neil Leonard

53+1=54+1=55.Letter of the Year
A multimedia sculptural installation

55esima Biennale di Venezia
Museuo Archeologico, Piazza San Marco, Venezia
Padiglione della Repubblica Cubana, La Perversion de lo Clasico: Anarquia de los Relatos.

Dal 1 Giugno al 24 Novembre 2013

Opening: 31 Maggio 2013, h 17:00


Il progetto 53+1=54+1=55.Letter of the Year consiste in un'installazione multimediale incentrata sui temi dell'appartenenza e la lontananza da ciò che chiamiamo "casa", sulla necessità di trovare e ridefinire il significato della permanenza e della propria posizione nel mondo. Le gabbie per uccelli furono usate da imperatori e da persone comuni, per catturare la bellezza e sognare la libertà, dalle divinità Yoruba a Leonardo Da Vinci, l'uomo ha sempre sognato di volare, il volo stesso rappresenta l'incarnazione della libertà totale dell'essere.

Nell'opera 53+1=54+1=55.Letter of the Year le video-interviste all'interno delle gabbie documentano la ricostruzione del dialogo tra residenti cubani e i loro familiari all'estero, lasciando trasparire la forza che questo scambio rinnovato porta con sè. Nella componente sonora dell'opera sono rintracciabili le registrazioni dei Pregoneros venditori di strada, la cui presenza è un riflesso della crescente liberalizzazione dei piccoli mercati che esistono indipendentemente dal vuoto lasciato da grandi organizzazioni. Le voci registrate nei video ci parlano superando le barriere fisiche, politiche e culturali della società contemporanea. La componente video del progetto à stata concepita come una risposta performativa all'importanza storica del luogo espositivo.

L'installazione si compone quindi di elementi architettonici e sonori, alla ricerca di un proprio equilibrio tra storia e contemporaneità, evocando la vita di un paese in continua evoluzione. E, come uccelli liberi sulle loro ali, uomini e donne continuano a cantare la loro canzone di speranza e libertà.

Sguardi Sonori 2013


Saturday, May 18, 2013

La perversión de lo Clásico: anarquía de los relatos (The perversion of classics: The anarchy of narrations)















La perversión de lo Clásico: anarquía de los relatos (The perversion of classics: The anarchy of narrations)

I am honored to present work in the Cuban Pavilion of the Venice Biennale along with: Rui Chafes, Pedro Costa, Glenda León, María Magdalena Campos-Pons & Neil Leonard, Francesca Leone, H.H. Lim, Liudmila & Nelson, Hermann Nitsch, Sandra Ramos, Lázaro Saavedra, Tonel, Gilberto Zorio, Wang Du.

Project

53+1=54+1=55/ Letter of the Year
A multimedia video sound sculptural installation
Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons
Neil Leonard
Museum of Archelogy Piazza de San Marco Venice
Republic of Cuba Pavilion opening: May 31, 2013, 5:00 pm

Campos-Pons’ work is a site- specific installation Project 53+1=54+1=55/ Letter of the Year. Conceived in collaboration with musician and composer Neil Leonard, this multimedia installation consists of the massive structure of birdcages. The work presents a parallel to the grid of architecture and sound, old and new, always in motion, so typical of Cuban cities but also the cities around the world. The birdcages are used as metaphorical vessels to capture dreams. Inside of them there is an accumulation of fact data and fragmented video narratives played on numerous monitors, creating the mixture of sounds and images of urban Cuba, as the country evolves and the basic diversity of discourse changes in a dramatic and even theatrical way on the island, as well as in perceptions of the island from abroad.

For 53+1=54+1=55. Letter of the Year, Leonard utilizes the sound of Cuban street criers to create a sonic map constructed of voices from the island. This antiphonal map is suggestive of innovations carried out in Basilica San Marco, directly across from the Cuban pavilion, where 16th century composers began using site-specific placement of instruments and voice in their musical scores for the first time in Europe. Leonard investigates how in both present day Havana and 16th century Venice, antiphony emerged as a keynote sound that was intertwined with artistic and social transformation.

Previews/Reviews:

http://theculturetrip.com/caribbean/cuba/articles/classic-tales-of-distortion-cuba-at-the-venice-biennale/

http://blog.uprising-art.com/interview-exclusive-maria-magdalena-campos-pons-neil-leonard/?lang=en

http://www.artsobserver.com/2012/06/20/havana-biennial-exhibitions-at-wifredo-lam-center/

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

La perversión de lo Clásico: anarquía de los relatos (The perversion of classics: The anarchy of narrations)



























After 27 years of working with Cuban artists in the US and on the island, I am honored to be invited to present work in the Cuban Pavilion of the Venice Biennale along with: Rui Chafes, Pedro Costa, Glenda León, María Magdalena Campos-Pons & Neil Leonard, Francesca Leone, H.H. Lim, Liudmila & Nelson, Hermann Nitsch, Sandra Ramos, Lázaro Saavedra, Tonel, Gilberto Zorio, Wang Du.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Concert with Jamaaladeen Tacuma and Co at Outpost 186


Jamaaladeen Tacuma electric bassist , composer and music producer joins Ornette Coleman’s Prime time alum, Berklee School and Boston based veterans of the Free Improvisational Music Scene for a session at Outpost 186. OUTPOST 186 is a new arts, media and performance space at 186 1/2 Hampshire Street in Inman Square, Cambridge. This summit is not to be missed!

JAMAALADEEN TACUMA - ELECTRIC BASS
Dave Bryant - keyboards
Neil Leonard - saxophones
Tom Hall - saxophones
Chris Bowman - drums

Cecil Taylor on Jamaaladeen Tacuma:

I'll tell you an interesting guy that I heard, was a man named James Carter. The night before, I spent with [members of Carter's current electric band, drummer] Calvin [Weston] and Jamaladeen [Tacuma, electric bassist]. And the next night I go into practice, and in walks James Carter. So I ask him, he talked about his control over his instrument and he went into [talking about] Eric Dolphy. And I asked him what he thought about Anthony Braxton's music, and he dropped his head and said, "What can you say?"

 So I said to him, "One courtesy deserves another. I'll be there tonight when you play," and lemme tell you! I'm backstage, and that band starts, and Jamaladeen and Calvin... you know there's a difference between the blues and rhythm and blues, and man, when that band started, the intensity of the new rhythm and blues that they played! Carter is off stage, and when he walked in he stunned me with what he do! Know what he did? He made one harmonic sound, [imitating] eeerrrrrrrrgh, and then he walked off the fucking stage! And he comes back and makes another sound. Now, when he starts playing, when he was confronted, when he had to deal with that rhythm and blues shit, it wasn't about notes. And when James did this obbligato, man, it wasn't just technical, it was passionate! So James, at the end of that first number came and gave us his theme that demonstrated all of his control, and it was something.

 This is where I almost cried. He starts a piece, alone, and he's got a sense of humor, and he knew he had the audience, and he started playing "Good Morning Heartache". Gross, I was almost reduced to tears by what he did. I thought of Charlie Gayle, and he gave us that, but he also gave us Don Byas, and then he played softly, and went into a bossa nova...

 When he walked off, I'm standing there mesmerized, and he sees me and comes over and I say, "Hey, give me some more of that shit!" [laughs] I gotta hear that band again, cause man, the music is alive!

Cecil Taylor, 2001

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Venice Biennale: Cuba Pavilion










CUBA PAVILION

La Perversión de lo clásico: Anarquía de los relatos (La Perversione della classicità: Anarchia delle narrazioni)

Liudmila and Nelson, Maria Magdalena Campos and Neil Leonard, Sandra Ramos, Glenda Leon, Lazaro Saavedra, Tonel, Hermann Nitsch, Gilberto Zorio, Wang Du, H.H.Lim, Pedro Costa, Rui Chafes, Francesca Leone

Commissioner: Miria Vicini. Curators: Jorge Fernandez Torres, Giacomo Zaza. Venue: Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Venezia, Palazzo Reale, Piazza San Marco 17

SOUNDSHAPES at Berklee College of Music

SOUNDSHAPES, a diverse collection of new multimedia pieces that seeks to bring the multimedia work to the chamber music idiom.  Using a variety of mediums, approaches and techniques, music and visuals will be an integral part of each composition. Compositions by Ramon Castillo, Anthony Paul de Ritis, Kari Juusela, Dawn Kramer, Neil Leonard, John Mallia, Margaret McAllister, Stan Strickland. Composers will be performing their own work. Also performing: Peter Cokkinias, bass clarinet, Richard Boulanger, QuNeo, voice,Lin Zhantao, erhu. Wednesday, March 27th, 7:30pm, David Friend Recital Hall, Berklee College Music, 921 Bolyston St. Boston. Admission Free. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Three days of concerts with Phill Niblock



























Everybody’s Mind to be Blown


This Sunday, Phill Niblock, OG avant-garde composer, will come to Middlebury with Neil Leonard, a sax player who does some crazy microtonal stuff, and blow everybody’s mind. This is unlike most things that happen here on campus, so if you need some refreshing from your routine (who am I kidding, of course you do) come get your mind expanded.

7:00pm   Introduction by Florian Hecker 
7:30pm   Performance: Two Lips                   
8:00pm   Book Signing & Reception
Join us for the launch of Working Title, a monograph on the avant-garde musician, filmmaker, and performer Phill Niblock. Written in both French and English, it provides an in-depth look at Niblock’s musical and cinematographic work, as well as historical background, philosophical insights, and technical advice. The book is accompanied by two double-sided DVDs of atypical videos: Remo Osaka, a continuation of The Movement of People Working series; Anecdotes from Childhood; and Katherine Liberovskaya’s 70 for 70 (+1), Seventy (one) Sides of Phill NiblockRead more about Working Title
The evening includes screenings of Anecdotes, Remo Osaka, and 70 for 70 (+1), and a live performance of Two Lips, a piece written by Niblock and recorded in 2011 by three different guitar quartets. At MIT, Two Lips will be played by students from the Berklee Interdisciplinary Arts Institute under the direction of Neil Leonard: Yun Yun Huang, Andrew Ikenberry, Jason Lim, Aseem Suri, and William Wingnall. The performance will be followed by a book signing reception.
Phill Niblock is a New York-based minimalist composer, multi-media musician, and filmmaker, as well as the director of the Experimental Intermedia Foundation, an intermedia arts collective founded in the late 1960s in New York. Full Biography
This project is presented in collaboration with the MIT List Visual Arts Center.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Spring 2013 Events

Hello friends and listeners,

Here is a quick look at events coming up this spring. As details continue emerge, I plan to update this note and share other imminent developments.

Cheers, Neil

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Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 7:00pm
Neil Leonard, solo saxophone/electronics/video
Jewett Art Gallery
Wellesley College
106 Central Street
Wellesley, MA, 02481
Free and open to the public

Thursday, March 7 – Friday, March 8, 2013
Artists & The Future Conference
Featuring Neil Leonard and Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons duscussing their work in the Havana Biennial
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Wiesner Building (E15-001), Bartos Theater
20 Ames Street
Cambridge, MA
http://www.artistsincontext.org/index.php/connected-a-consequential/national-conference.html

Saturday, March 9, 2013
Middlebury College
Music of Phill Niblock
Neil Leonard, saxophones
Time/Location TBA

March 9-10, 2013
Deciphering Identity exhibition
Featuring BIAI/SMFA/BAI students collaborations
Jewett Art Gallery
Wellesley College
106 Central Street
Wellesley, MA, 02481
Gallery Hours: Weekdays 9am-5pm, Weekends 12-5pm
Free and open to the public

Tuesday, March 12, 2013, 7:00-9:00pm
Presentation of "Working Title," a monograph on the avant-garde musician, filmmaker, and performer Phill Niblock
Featuring BIAI students perform work by Niblock
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Wiesner Building, ACT Cube (E15-001/lower level)
20 Ames Street,
Free and open to the public
http://act.mit.edu/projects-and-events/events/public-programs/working-title-a-phill-niblock-book-launch/

Thursday, March 14, 2013
Film Screening "Detras Del Muro"
Featuring Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons and Neil Leonard's work in the Havana Biennial
Le Festival International du Film sur l'art (FIFA)
Montreal, Canada
Time/Location TBA
http://www.artfifa.com

Saturday, March 16, 2013
BIAI student perform original work celebrating the inauguration of "Traffic" George Greenamyer's final permanent public art commission
Roslindale Square
Time/Location TBA
http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/roslindale/2012/01/roslindale_public_art_installa.html

Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 7:30pm
Sound Shapes
Compositions for interactive multimedia by Berklee faculty
Berklee College of Music
David Friend Recital Hall
921 Boylston Street
Boston, MA, 02115
Free and open to the public

Saturday, March 30, 2013 from 10:00am to 04:00pm
BIAI/Concord Academy student music/dance/video work-in-progress
Dance/staging directed by Richard Colton, Music directed by Neil Leonard
Institute of Contemporary Art
100 Northern Ave
Boston, MA
http://www.icaboston.org/visit/

Wednesday, April 3, 2013 at 8:00pm
The Art of the Improvisers series
Concert by works by Neil Leonard (saxophone/electronics) and Robin Eubanks (trombone/electronics)
MIT Hayden Library Building
Killian Hall (Rm. 14W-111)
160 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA
Free and open to the public

Thursday-Saturday April 25-27, 2013
BIAI/Concord Academy student music/dance/video tour-de-fource performance
Dance/staging directed by Richard Colton, Music directed by Neil Leonard
Directed by Richard Colton
Concord Academy
Details TBA

Saturday, June 1 - Sunday, November 24, 2013
55 Venice Biennial: "The Encyclopedic Palace"
Cuban pavilion of Venice Biennial
Featuring work by Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons and Neil Leonard
http://www.labiennale.org

June, 2013
Collaborative performance with Mike Ladd/Pierce Warnecke
Lyon, France
Time/Location TBA


Friday, October 26, 2012

Berklee Interdisciplinary Arts Institute concert/clinic by Phill Niblcok























Berklee Interdisciplinary Arts Institute presents a concert of works by
Phill Niblock
Friday, October 26, 2012 - 8:00PM
Berklee College of Music
Electronic Production and Design Recital Hall
22 Fenway, Room 112 - Admission: Free!

Featuring: Fahrenheit 402 Ensemble, Barbara LaFitte, Director
Andrew Bustamante , flute; Barbara LaFitte, oboe; Neil Leonard, clarinet; Coral Hernandez, violin; Max Wolpert, violin; Bebe Kim, violin; Beltran Del Campo, viola; Roman Soto, cello; Samuel Clark McHale, cello; Julian Lenz, cello; Aleida Bautista, trombone; Zachary Lucia, piano

BIAI Electric Ebow Guitar Ensemble, Neil Leonard, Director
Jason Lim, Andrew Ikenberry, Garrett Frierson

"Phill Niblock's music and films are concerned with detail and simplicity . . . dense, imposing sound mass . . . Sum and difference tones pile up until they sound like an orchestra of voices . . . one listens first to one level of detail, then to another, only gradually learning to hear everything at once." 
Robert Palmer, New York Times

This event is sponsored by Berkee Interdisciplinary Arts Institute, Berklee Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, Electronic Production and Design Department.

Berklee Interdisciplinary Arts Institue lecture by Dayara Roque


Monday, September 24, 2012

Notes for the FEFA performance at the Havana Biennial

















Neil Leonard
Notes for the spoken introduction to FEFA performance/installation and Pregonero Competition

Havana Bienial
Wilfredo Lam Center
May 11, 2012

To celebrate the inauguration of the Bienial of Havana, the presentaion of FEFA, and the pregoneros of Cuba we have prepared a unique event for this opening.

When Magda asked me to design sound for the installation FEFA, I thought to use what for me was the most striking sound of urban life in Cuba, the pregonero. The pregoneros first caught my attention last year sitting on the patio in Matanzas where I witnessed pregoneros selling everything from bread and onions to poison to kill bugs or your mother-in-law. In the early morning and later afternoon the street was transformed into a spontaneous Mozart-like opera 'buffa' or comic opera.

In the installation FEFA you hear not only the ambient electronic composition that I developed through years of collaborating with Magdalena on films, videos, installations and performances, but in addition, you hear recorded voices of four pregoneros from Ciego de Ávila who sell garlic, bread, flowers, honey and buy gold.

Upon finishing this work, I realized that the first Cuban song that I can remember hearing US was the Manisero recorded by Louis Armstrong in 1930. As a young boy growing up in the US, before I knew that Cuba existed, I discovered my father's 78 recording of Manisero and delighted in Armstrong playing the role of "The Peanut Vendor." So for Armstrong too, an essential sound of our neighboring island was the pregonero.

The pregonero is not only a keynote sound in Cuba, but at the pinnacle of the art market in the US, at art auction houses such as Christie's and Sotheby's, where a painting sells for as much as for $120 million dollars, the auctioneer, much like a pregonero has to convince, charm, and close the deal.

Here today in FEFA we are celebrating artisan of the spoken word. We have invited a group of 15 pregoneros to compete in the first competition of the pregonero. The pregoneros will perform in the top balcony, first individually so you can hear their pregones and then they will descend into the courtyard where you are encouraged to buy their wares. After the performance, a jury will select winners in three categories: the most musical pregon, the most poetic pregon and the pregon that features the most innovative marketing of FEFA.

The jury for the Pregonero Competition is comprised of Enmanuel Blanco, Director of the Laboratorio Nacional de Musica Electronica de Cuba, an organization that for years has programmed cutting-edge art, music and performance, including large scale works by Maestro Manuel Mendive and composer Juan Piñera, both presenting work in this Biennial. Feliciano Arango, the inventor of timba bass and for the past 8 years director of Los Hermanos Arango, a group from Guanabacoa that performs authentic afrocuban folkloric music with contemporary arrangements for that leave the original chants and rhythms in tact. Eugenio Arango, percussionist for Los Hermanos Arangos and teacher of Afrocuban percusssion and Cristina Arango, vocalist for Los Hermanos Arangos.

Before beginning the competition Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons (FEFA) will come share a few words with us.

Thank you.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Installation/performance with street vendors and "Premio de Pregonero." If you are in Havana stop by to check out a performance with some amazing folkloric spoken word artists.

Programación Oncena Bienal de La Habana: Viernes 11 de mayo

Inauguración de espacio expositivo/ 12:00m
Patricia Villalobos, Nury González, Jorge Pardo, Carlos Garaicoa, María Magdalena Campos-Neil Leonard, Craig Shillito

“FeFa” (competencia de pregones). María Magdalena Campos-Neil Leonard.

Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam. 
San Ignacio 22 esq. Empedrado. Plaza de la Catedral.
Tel. 861-2096

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

LOS HERMANOS ARANGOS - DIRECT FROM HAVANA



LOS HERMANOS ARANGO - DIRECT FROM HAVANA
Tuesday, February 21, 2012, 8:15 PM
Berklee Performance Center

Los Hermanos Arango is an ensemble from Guanabacoa, Cuba where Yoruba, Abakua and other West African traditions are preserved in their most authentic form in the Americas. The Arangos are the only Cuban band to use completely unaltered Afrocuban ritual voice/hand drumming as the basis for a modern repertoire that integrates electric bass, keyboards, brass/winds (no drumset). Leaders, Feliciano and Eugenio Arango are the top-call percussionist/bassist in Cuba and toured with Chucho Valdes, Afrocuban All-Stars, N.G. La Banda, Pablo Milanes, Emiliano Salvador. 

Los Hermanos Arango is led by Feliciano Arango, who was mentored by seminal Cuban bassist Orlando 'Cachaito' Lopez and toured with seminal pianist/composer Emiliano Salvador. Arango was the founding bassist for N.G. La Banda, who he played with for 15 years. With N.G. La Banda, Arango developed a new style of Cuban dance music called 'timba'. He was responsible for leading Cuban bassist into a new approach to bass that greatly enhanced the melodic, percussive overall sound of the instrument in Cuban music. 

Ticket: $8 in advance, $12 the day of show. 
Berklee Students get four free tickets prior to day of show, and up to four $4 tickets on the day of show. 

Berklee Performance Center
136 Massachusetts Avenue
Boston MA 02115
http://www.berkleebpc.com/
617 747-2261
The Berklee Performance Center is easily accessible by public transportation, with parking available in neighboring garages.






Tuesday, January 10, 2012

News and Events for Spring 2012



















Friday, January 13, 2012, 10:00 PM
Lilly Pad
David Maxwell's OutTakes Unlimited

David Maxwell - piano
Phil Grenadier - trumpet
Neil Leonard - saxophones

The Lily Pad
1353 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02139-1340
http://www.lily-pad.net/

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Casa Las Americas, Havana, Cuba
"Rito de Iniciación/Rite of Initiation" video screening

I contributed music/sound to María Magdalena Campos-Pons' tour-de-force video "Rito de Iniciación/Rite of Initiation," created at the Western Front, Vancouver. This video was recently screened at the Smithsonian Institute Museum of African Art.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012, 8:15 PM
Berklee Performance Center

Los Hermanos Arangos
Direct from Havana Cuba

Berklee Performance Center
136 Massachusetts Avenue
Boston MA 02115

Los Hermanos Arangos is an ensemble from Guanabacoa, Cuba where Yoruba, Abakua and other African traditions are preserved in their most authentic form in the Americas. The Arangos are the only Cuban band to use completely unaltered Afrocuban ritual voice/hand drumming as the basis for a modern repertoire that integrates electric bass, keyboards, brass/winds (no drumset). Leaders, Feliciano and Eugenio Arango are the top-call percussionist/bassist in Cuba and toured with Chucho Valdes, Afrocuban All-Stars, N.G. La Banda, Pablo Milanes, Emiliano Salvador.

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Thursday and Friday, March 8 & 9, 2012, 11:30am – 1:30pm
Isabel Stewart Gardner Museum
Ana Prvacki - "Wandering Band"

Performance to celebrate the opening of the New Wing of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, designed by Italy's premiere Architect, Renzo Piano.

The "Wandering Band" is a performance of musicians wandering freely through the Gardner Museum. Conceived by artist Ana Prvacki, the Wandering Band artists will perform their daily practice of exercises, repertoire and improvisation while strolling through the galleries.

Isabel Stewart Gardner Museum
280 Fenway
Boston, MA 02115
http://www.gardnermuseum.org/

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March 19-24, 2012
Performances in Shanghai, China
Details TBA

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thursday, April 5, 2012, 8PM
Phill Niblock
New England Conservatory

Performances of music by Phill Niblock with Neil Leonard on saxophones and clarinets.

Brown Hall at the New England Conservatory
290 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115

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Sunday, April 29, 2012
Williams College
Location and time - TBA

Interactive-electroacoustic compositions/performances by Ileana Perez Velazquez, Sam Pluta, Kathryn Alexander, Juraj Kos, Jeff Roberts and Neil Leonard

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May 11 - June 11, 2012
Wilfredo Lam Center
Havana Bienial

"FeFa" - performance/installation with Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons

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My latest CD, Marcel's Window is now available at CDBaby and on iTunes:
http://cdbaby.com/cd/neilleonard2
itunes.apple.com/us/album/marcels-window/id470605068?uo=4

Online videos of release concerts in Philadelphia and Cuba can be found at:
http://www.youtube.com/user/neilleonardmusic

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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Leonard, Neil: Marcel's Window reviewed by SeaofTranquility

Leonard, Neil: Marcel's Window
Neil Leonard is no stranger to the world of jazz having performed and toured with numerous musicians. He is also the Artistic Director of the Interdisciplinary Arts Institute at Berklee College of Music. The Boston based, Philadelphia born saxophonist released his first album Timaeus in 2001. I have not had the pleasure of hearing it although it does sound intriguing; a marriage of computers, algorithms and saxophone. Although it has taken a few years Leonard is back with his new album Marcel's Window and an excellent one it is. 
On Marcel's Window Leonard's quartet includes Tom Lawton (piano), Lee Smith (bass) and Craig McIver (drums). Leonard plays alto and soprano saxophones.
All the musicians are Philadelphia born which plays into the album's concept. All the pieces refer to various landmarks in the city, a jazz concept album of sorts or at the very least a theme-based one. 
Leonard is an adventurous player focusing on bold melodies and stellar musicianship and while his playing is a focal point by no means are the other musicians left out in the cold. The band plays like they have been together for years, each one an integral part of the whole.
Beginning with "Alex in the Atrium", all crisp saxophone and riveting piano soli, the album is off to a fine start. The piano builds momentum, then eases into more relaxing territory before an outstanding bass solo takes the lead. 
On the adventurous "4951 Walnut Street", the sax starts off at a leisurely pace only to burn up the soundscape with a ripping solo. The piano and drum interaction is also excellent.
"Resounding Arc" is a jazzy ballad that slowly unfolds with pretty sax and piano. The album's last two tracks "Invisible Cities" and "Mood for Merritt" highlight the exceptional bass work of Lee Smith and Leonard's melodic sax runs. 
Marcel's Window is a tremendous effort from four world class musicians. Fans of traditional jazz will be mightily impressed. Highly recommended!
www.seaoftranquility.org

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Concert with Li Tieqiao Beijing, China





















时间:2011.11.30 周三 21:00
地点:鼓楼121酒吧 北京市西城区旧鼓楼大街121号 (紧邻地铁二号线B口向南800米)
门票:免
演出乐手:
Neil Leonard 尼尔•雷奥纳德(美):萨克斯,电子乐
Li Tieqiao 李铁桥:萨克斯,简易电子
音乐风格:爵士音乐,实验电子,自由即兴,先锋音乐

Neil Leonard 尼尔•雷奥纳德(美国)
尼尔•雷奥纳德是一位跨界的艺术家,作曲家和萨克斯演奏家。他与视觉艺术家玛丽亚•马格达莱纳合作的作品《坎波斯-庞斯》(Campos-Pons)在世界各地广 泛地上演,包括在49届威尼斯双年展、纽约现代艺术博物馆、加拿大国家美术馆和美国国务院在达喀尔举办的双年展上的演出等。他个人的作品在世界各地也都有演出,其中包括在纽约卡内基音乐厅,惠特尼美术馆等地的演出。他的音乐也出现在各种生活场合中,包括厨房、出版发行公司、针织厂和媒体实验室中。同时作为 演奏者,他的演出足迹也遍布世界各地。雷奥纳德同时还是波斯顿伯克利音乐学院电子音乐制作与设计的教授,他率先开设了跨学科和互动艺术的课程。他也是波斯 顿GASP艺术馆的合伙人。

李铁桥,实验乐手和演出策划人,萨克斯演奏。
1973年生于湖南,现生活工作在北京。他策划的声东击西音乐艺术项目,致力于东西方各种音乐风格之间的交流;以及音乐与其他艺术领域的跨界合作。李铁桥早年在美好药店乐队任萨克斯手。05年到07年在挪威旅居期间开始涉及自由爵士和即兴音乐。2009年开始给现代舞音乐和艺术电影配乐。李铁桥参入录制的唱片有:《被侮辱的姿势》,《请给我放大一张表妹的照片》,《美之瓜9+2》 《通往北方之路》,《南京现场》,《风啊,他们疯了!》。.
李铁桥网站:www.litieqiao.com
李铁桥微博: http://weibo.com/litieqiao
李铁桥博客:http://litieqiao.blogbus.com/
李铁桥演出:http://www.litieqiao.com/page2performance.html « 收起

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Berklee en Cuba: Premio Internacional CUBADISCO 2011

























In December 2010, I led Berklee College of Music's first official trip to Cuba. Berklee is founded on jazz and popular music rooted in the African cultural diaspora, and its comprehensive curriculum is distinctly contemporary in its content and approach, and embraces the principal musical movements of our time. With this as Berklee's mission, I saw that it was imperative that our students travel to Cuba to experience Cuban music first hand and perform with Cuban peers.

To this end, I worked with Enmanuel Blanco, Director of the Laboratorio Nacional de Musica Electroacustica (LNME) to design an immersive composition workshop involving students from Berklee, LNME and University of the Arts (ISA). The students assignment was to create a new electroacoustic work to be performed using cutting-edge digital tools along with folkloric Cuban musicians the Museo de Bellas Artes, which took place on December 3, 2010. The workshop lasted one week and Berkee students also heard a concert by the JoJazz orchestra, a concert by Los Hermanos Arangos, a bembe in Guanabacoa, Chucho Valdés playing in his living room and a solo presentation by Cuban dancer Carlos Acosta at the Garcia Lorca Theater. Needless to say, my students returned to Boston both exhausted and amazed how contemporary and historically deep Cuban music is.

Before leaving for Havana last December, one of my students asked, "How long did it take to organize this trip?" and I answered "Twenty five years." I first traveled to Cuba in 1986, when I was roughly my students age. I had heard the masterpieces by Chucho Valdés and Chano Pozo and knew that I had to see this work first hand. Between 1986-87 I had played with and visited the homes of Merciditas Valdes, Orlando 'Cachaíto' López, Emiliano Salvador, Juan Blanco, Afrocuba de Matanzas and many others. I collected Egrem recordings by Leo Brouwer, Amadeo Roldán, Alejandro García Caturla and Oriente Lopez's Grupo Afrocuba.

From this initial contact, I found Cuba to be a culture that proudly embraces intellectual rigor, cutting-edge modernism, technical innovation, high-level education, and folkloric roots, that are fundamentally interdisciplinary. Twenty years of follow-up work grounded these initial impressions with a wealth of information gleaned by collaborations with Cuban musicians, LNME and extensive work with my wife, Cuban-born artist Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons. With this foundation, the primary goal for Berklee workshop was to expose my students to the aforementioned essential aspects of Cuba culture through direct work with Cuban musicians and stimulate an internal dialog regarding our own work. I aimed less to teach Boston based students to play, compose or explain Cuban music, in favor of mentoring them in working with young Cuban composers and having them work with LNME/ISA teachers Juan Piñera and Sigried Marcía who share these values.
Now, in May 2011, Berklee is greatly honored to have to opportunity to embark on a second workshop/tour in Cuba. This tour begins with our students participation in Cubadisco's "Son Mas largo del Mundo" here in Santiago de Cuba and a concert at Sala Dolores. It was here in Santiago that I heard my first concert of music in Cuba, the Conjunto Folklórico de Oriente with the dancers dancing the "chancleta" and the fantastic musette "tromp China" soloist. From Santiago the group goes on to a full schedule in Havana that includes performances at ISA, Museo de Bellas Artes, Casa Las Americas with Los Hermanos Arangos and Teatro Nacional with Danza Contemporanea.

Much as my initial contact with Cuban musicians proved to be pivotal to my growth as artists, I expect that my Berklee students will process their experience in Cuba for years to come. Their interaction with musician across the island is intended as a model for collaborating with artists from different cultures and appreciating that there are leaders in artistic quality, conviction and innovation to learn across the globe. Furthermore, Cuba is close in geographic proximity and linked through a shared cultural heritage. Without an understanding and an experience of this rich culture, my students' work to understand music back home and the principal musical movements of our time will never be complete.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ana Prvacki - Wandering Band at the Isabel Stewart Gardner Museum

This is a piece from the magazine Flash Art on an ongoing project that I am doing with Ana Prvacki and the Isabel Stewart Gardner Museum.

"An important aspect of this practice is Prvacki's inclusion of local musicians. In Boston at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, she invited composer Neil Leonard of the Berklee College of Music to collaborate on a sound piece with four of his graduate students."

Monday, November 14, 2011

News and Events in China, Cuba, Nashville, Philadelphia and a new CD

My latest CD, Marcel's Window is now available at CDBaby and on iTunes.
http://cdbaby.com/cd/neilleonard2
itunes.apple.com/us/album/marcels-window/id470605068?uo=4

The band is stellar and the recording represents the sound of
Philadelphia at its best! Please see news on CD Release concerts in
Philly and Havana below.

Neil Leonard - woodwinds
Tom Lawton - piano (Dave Douglas, Don Byron)
Lee Smith - bass (Mongo Santamaria, Cedar Walton, Roberta Flack)
Craig McIver - drums (Max Roach M-Boom, Odean Pope)

Click here to read press release at Allaboutjazz
http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/news.php?id=88506

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

María Magdalena Campos-Pons
Journeys
I contributed sound for her tour-de-force installation "Spoken Softly
with Mama", 1998.
(Mixed-media installation of embroidered silk and organza over ironing
boards with photographic transfers, embroidered cotton sheets, cast
glass irons and trivets, wooden benches, six projected video tracks,
and stereo sound; dimensions variable. Purchased 1999; National
Gallery of Canada.)

October 7, 2011–January 8, 2012
Frist Center for the Visual Arts

http://fristcenter.org/calendar-exhibitions/detail/maria-magdalena-campos-pons

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

María Magdalena Campos-Pons
MAMA/RECIPROCAL ENERGY
I contributed sound for installations and video screening of "Sacred Bath."

October 13–December 8, 2011
Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery
http://www.vanderbilt.edu/gallery/exhibits/exhibit_campos-pons.php

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Marcel's Window - CD Release Concert

Friday, Novermber 18, 2011 at 5:00PM

Philadelphia Art Museum

Neil Leonard - woodwinds
Tom Lawton - piano (Dave Douglas, Don Byron)
Lee Smith - bass (Mongo Santamaria, Cedar Walton, Roberta Flack)
Craig McIver - drums (Max Roach M-Boom, Odean Pope)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tuesday, November 29, 2011
China Conservatory
Concert with members of National Music and Dance and Troupe
Details TBA

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Monday, December 12, 2011 at 8:00 PM
Bryant / Leonard / Simons / Newton @ Outpost
Dave Bryant - keyboards
Neil Leonard - saxophones and electronics
Junko Fujiwara Simons - cello
Curt Newton - drums

Outpost 186 1/2 Hampshire Street
Inman Square, Cambridge, MA
http://www.zeitgeist-outpost.org

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Havana Jazz Festival, December 2011
Marcel's Window - CD Release Concerts

Thursday, December 15 –Tito Junco Concert Hall of Bertolt Brecht Theater
Saturday, December 17 – Workshop National School of Arts (ENA)
Sunday, December 18 – Concert Casa de Cultura de Plaza

Other events TBA
Berklee Faculty Jazz Quintet
Neil Leonard - director/composer/saxophones
Joanne Brackeen - piano
John Lockwood - bass
Yoron Israel - drums

Neil Leonard, un músico entre Cuba y Berklee

Prensa-Latina article: published in Havana, Cuba

La Habana 11 nov (PL) El saxofonista y profesor de Berklee College of Music, Neil Leonard, regresará a La Habana con una alineación de músicos de esaimportante institución académica para participar en la próxima edición del Festival de Jazz, del 15 al de 18 diciembre.

  Impulsor de los prolíficos intercambios culturales puestos en marcha entre estudiantes y egresados del Berklee College y sus colegas cubanos, Leonard retornará a la isla para presentar su más reciente producción discográfica, Marcel's Window.

"En los últimos 20 años he colaborado con artistas de varias disciplinas en la creación de música y sonidos para danza, teatro, video, performance experimental y cine, dijo a Prensa Latina, desde Boston, en una entrevista vía correo electrónico.

"Estas colaboraciones incluyen a mi esposa, la artista cubana María Magdalena Campos-Pons, y han generado un espacio para investigar la historia y la geografía de sitios específicos en regiones como Japón, China, África, Cuba y Europa.

"Cuando compuse la música de este CD, agregó, me nutrí de las experiencias vividas en esos lugares, de gran interés cultural".

Su última visita a la isla fue en mayo pasado, de nuevo al frente del grupo de músicos norteamericanos participantes en la Feria Internacional Cubadisco. En esa ocasión realizó talleres y conciertos, en especial en conjunto con el Instituto Superior de Arte (Isa), el Laboratorio Nacional de Música Electroacústica, (Lnme) y la compañía Danza Contemporánea (Dcc).

"Esta expedición expuso a la comunidad de Berklee la amplia base de la innovación y el carácter interdisciplinario de las artes contemporáneas de Cuba, afirmó. Durante el periplo, nuestros estudiantes conocieron la obra de figuras como Juan Blanco, Carlos Acosta, Wifredo Lam, Manuel Mendive, X Alfonso.

"También tuvieron la posibilidad de crear junto a artistas del Lnme, Danza Contemporánea y el Isa, lo cual contribuyó a apreciar las sutilezas y complejidades de las artes en la Cuba de hoy", puntualizó.

El autor de Nuestro tiempo, quien imparte las asignaturas de composición, programación y performances con video, señaló que para sus alumnos ese intercambio clasifica dentro del pequeño espacio personal reservado solo a las experiencias que logran cambiar la vida.

"Mis estudiantes estaban particularmente impresionados por la forma en que los jóvenes artistas cubanos manifiestan un profundo sentido de identidad colectiva y respeto por las raíces tradicionales, y al mismo tiempo aspiran a ser profundamente modernos y hacen sorprendentes obras personales, detalló.

"Ellos me expresaron que la posibilidad de centrar su atención en una iniciativa como esta devino una experiencia que les cambió la vida. Estuvieron muy orgullosos por lo que lograron y fueron desafiados sin duda por el nivel de producción de sus colegas cubanos",subrayó.

En los últimos tiempos este proyecto les abrió las puertas de Berklee a diversos artistas y compositores cubanos. "Hemos fomentado el contacto continuo con programas de residencias cortas que incluyeron a George Céspedes, coreógrafo de Danza Contemporánea, quien impartió un taller sobre la creación de música para danza, particularizó Leonard.

"También acogimos un concierto con obras de 5 compositores del Lnme, con la presencia de la joven Maureen Reyes, quien dictó conferencias sobre música electroacústica en Cuba", añadió.

A su juicio,el éxito combinado de los últimos encuentros sostenidos en Cuba contribuyó a formar en Berklee el nuevo Instituto Interdisciplinario de las Artes con el objetivo de ayudar a los jóvenes compositores a participar en un diálogo global sobre la creación artística.

El modelo de talleres intensivos diseñado con el Lnme, incluyendo la composición colectiva y la integración en todas las disciplinas, es el que queremos mantener y desarrollar. En resumen, los viajes a Cuba, opinó, nos han incitado a reflexionar sobre nuestro trabajo y actualizar nuestros propios métodos para la educación".

ag/mih 

*Periodista cubano. Colaborador de Prensa Latina

Neil Leonard asistirá a Festival de Jazz en Cuba que preside Chucho Valdés






Neil Leonard asistirá a Festival de Jazz en Cuba que preside Chucho Valdés

AFP
LA HABANA -- El saxofonista estadounidense Neil Leonard, profesor del Berklee College of Music de Boston, participará en diciembre en La Habana en el Festival Jazz Plaza-2011, que preside el laurado pianista y compositor cubano Jesús ‘Chucho’ Valdés, informó este viernes un medio local.

Leonard, “impulsor de los intercambios culturales” entre Cuba y Estados Unidos, viajará a la isla acompañado por “músicos del Berklee College” y presentará en el Festival (del 15 al 18 de diciembre) su más reciente disco “Marcel’s Window”, de jazz contemporáneo, señaló la agencia cubana Prensa Latina (PL).

“Hemos fomentado el contacto continuo (entre artistas cubanos y estadounidenses) con programas de residencias cortas”, dijo Leonard que, según PL, estuvo en la isla en mayo pasado al frente de un grupo de músicos de su país que participó en la feria internacional Cubadisco-2010.

El Berklee College of Music, considerado la mejor escuela de jazz del mundo, entregó este año el título de doctor honoris causa a Valdés, quien fundó en 1973 el grupo Irakere -buque insignia del jazz cubano- y a su padre, el también pianista y compositor Bebo Valdés, por sus aportes a ese género musical.

En la edición anterior del festival, presidido por Valdés desde su fundación en 1980, participaron los músicos norteamericanos Andrea Brachfeld (flautista) y Arturo O’ Farrill (pianista), hijo del mítico Chico O’ Farrill, pieza clave en la creación del jazz afrocubano a mediados del siglo XX.

Los intercambios culturales entre Cuba y Estados Unidos -sin relaciones desde 1961- mejoraron con el gobierno de Barack Obama, que eliminó en 2009 restricciones a las remesas y viajes de cubanoamericanos a la isla, y comenzó a aplicar en abril una mayor flexibilización de las visitas de religiosos, académicos, artistas y deportistas estadounidenses.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Marcel's Window - CD Release concert























Friday, Novermber 18, 2009 at 5:00PM

Philadelphia Art Museum

Neil Leonard - woodwinds
Tom Lawton - piano (Dave Douglas, Don Byron)
Lee Smith - bass (Mongo Santamaria, Cedar Walton, Roberta Flack)
Craig McIver - drums (Max Roach M-Boom, Odean Pope)

 Now available at CDBaby and on iTunes. Click here to read press release at Allaboutjazz

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

SONGS OF SUN RA

SONGS OF SUN RA

Thursday, November 3 · 8:00pm - 10:00pm

Berklee Performance Center GA
136 Massachusetts Ave
Boston, MA

The Berklee Faculty Intergalactic Space Telepathy Arkestra performs songs and sound masses originally delivered to Earth by Afro-futurist composer and self-professed extraterrestrial Sun Ra. Tickets go on sale Friday, August 19 at 10:00 a.m. Can't make it to the show? This event will stream live on concertwindow.com.

Voice/Percussion - Diane Richardson
Piano/Keyboards/Voice/Percussion - Carolyn Wilkins
Trumpet/Voice/Percussion - Charles Lewis
Trombone/Voice/Percussion - David Harris
Saxophones/Flute/Voice/Percussion - Lance Van Lenten
Saxophone/voice/percussion - Rick DiMuzio
Saxophones/Reeds/Flute/Voice/Percussion - Stan Strickland
Saxophone/voice/percussion - Neil Leonard
Bass/Voice/Percussion - Ron Mahdi
Drums/Voice/Percussion - Ron Savage
Percussion/Voice - Ricardo Monzon
Conductor/Voice/Bass/Percussion - David Clark

Friday, October 14, 2011

Genma Speaks! Article on Magda and myself in Nashville



We will be interviewed by cultural activist and radio journalist Genma Holms this Saturday:

Living Your Best Life Radio Show can be heard on 880 AM in the Nashville-Middle Tennessee area and on Ustream.TV worldwide from 10am-12pm CST.

October 14, 2011 – 6:00 pm | Performance

Performance by Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons
Auditorium
Free; seating is first come, first served


María Magdalena Campos-Pons will debut an intimate performance art piece at the Frist Center in relation to her exhibition Journeys, on view in the Gordon Contemporary Artists Project Gallery from October 7, 2011 to January 8, 2012.

Using her body, voice, and surrounding space, Campos-Pons will expand on the ideas about dislocation that she explores in the accompanying exhibition of her work, Journeys. The notion of journey refers to Campos-Pons’s own place within the African Diaspora: she is a woman of Nigerian ancestry, born and raised in the province of Matanzas, Cuba, who has lived in Boston since 1991.

The event will be performed in collaboration with her husband, American musician and composer Neil Leonard.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

New CD: Marcel's Window available on CDBaby, iTunes, Amazon



Marcel's Window
Neil Leonard Quartet
To purchase go to: http://cdbaby.com/cd/neilleonard2

Over the previous two decades, I have collaborated with artists from a variety of disciplines to create music and sound for dance, theater, video/sculpture installation, experimental performance, and film. Many of these collaborations included local artists and materials to create dialogues about the history and geography of specific sites in Japan, China, Africa, Cuba, and Europe where the works were premiered. When I began composing the music for this CD, I expected that I would be writing for a homecoming jazz concert. Instead, using methods I learned from visual artists, I found myself creating site-specific compositions inspired by cultural landmarks in my own backyard.

I grew up in Philadelphia and played with fantastic musicians as a teenager, including Uri Caine, Robin and Kevin Eubanks, and many more. In 2007, I was invited to return to Philadelphia to perform a concert in the newly renovated Paul Robeson House. I needed a band, so I called Tom Lawton, whom I first played with when I was 16 years old, and we put together this quartet. We premiered "4951 Walnut Street," "Resounding Arc" and "Invisible Cities" at Paul Robeson's home at 4951 Walnut Street. As a young musician, I passed that building many times, not knowing that this distinguished singer-actor, forceful activist, and true Renaissance man was living on this unassuming block. "Resounding Arc" refers to the resonance of Robeson's work and the base of Robeson's rocking chair, one of the few pieces of original furniture in his home. "Invisible Cities" is a reflection on the multiple realities of urban life.

A concert in the Philadelphia Museum of Art the following year provided an opportunity to reassemble the quartet and expand its repertoire. "Alex in the Atrium" and "Marcel's Window" were premiered in the main atrium of the museum where Alexander Calder's "Untitled" mobile floats above visitors, facing capstone works by Calder père at Logan Circle and Calder’s grandfather on top of City Hall. "Marcel's Window" refers to the window cut into the museum's Parthenon-style facade to illuminate Marcel Duchamp's "The Bride Striped Bare by Her Bachelors," an architectural comment on Duchamp’s rupture with the western art canon.

"Mood for Merritt," a blues dedicated to pioneering Philadelphia bassist and composer Jymie Merritt rounds out the set. I admired Merritt's work on recordings with Art Blakey and Lee Morgan and played with him when I lived in Philly.

I am joined on this recording by three musicians with outstanding knowledge and ability. Pianist Tom Lawton plays my compositions as if he wrote them himself. Bassist Lee Smith backed up soul diva Roberta Flack, laid down Cuban mambos with Mongo Santamaria, and is as inventive and daring as anyone I've worked with. Drummer Craig McIver, who played with Max Roach's M-Boom percussion ensemble, builds fantastic grooves and uses ideas from all of us as he crafts subtleties of the form.

I am grateful to have the opportunity to work with these superb musicians, who’ve made me feel like the‘ve spent their lives training to make this music together.

Neil Leonard

Neil Leonard - alto and soprano saxophone
Tom Lawton - piano
Lee Smith - bass
Craig McIver - drums

All compositions by Neil Leonard (ASCAP)
www.neilleonard.com

Produced by Neil Leonard
Recorded January 28-29, 2009 by Matt Balitsaris at Maggie's Farm, Pipersville PA
Mixed summer/fall 2010 by Neil Leonard and John Hull, at GASP Studios, Boston MA
Mastered by Jonathan Wyner at M Works Studios, Cambridge MA

Graphic Design by Terrance K. O’Leary; Design concept and photo for silhouette by Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons.

Special thanks to: George Massenberg for mixing guidance; Philagrafika and the Paul Robeson House for commissioning "4951 Walnut Street" "Resounding Arc" and "Invisible Cities"; Sara Moyan of the Philadelphia Art Museum for featuring the full collection of compositions at the Museum; Tom Lawton for logistical assistance and Tom's family for lending me my first saxophone; and to my wife Magdalena, son Arcadio, and extended family for supporting me every step of the way.

© Neil Leonard 2011
All Rights Reserved

Monday, October 3, 2011

Maria Magdalena Campos Pons and Neil Leonard at NEU


Date: 10-06-2011
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: 305 Shillman, Northeastern University

Northeastern University and the Department of Art + Design presents artists Maria Magdalena Campos Pons and Neil Leonard.

Born in Matanzas in 1959, Campos-Pons was educated in Cuba at the Escuela Nacional de Arte (1976–1979) and Instituto Superior de Arte (1980–1985). In 1988 she continued her studies as an exchange student in the graduate program at the Massachusetts College of Art. Campos-Pons has been honored with numerous international solo and group exhibitions from institutions as MoMA and MoMA P.S.1,TATE Liverpool UK ; the Smithsonian, Washington, D.C.; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; and the Indianapolis Museum of Art, which hosted a 20-year retrospective of Campos-Pons’ work in 2006 that traveled to the Bass Museum in Miami. Campos-Pons has also been included in a number of prestigious international art surveys, including the 49th Venice Biennale in 2001; the Johannesburg Biennale, Johannesburg, South Africa; the First Liverpool Biennial; the Dak’ART Biennale in Senegal; and most recently, the Guangzhou Triennial, China.

Her art can be found in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Fogg Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; the National Museum of Fine Arts, Havana, Cuba; and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, among many others. Campos-Pons teach at SMFA and Co founder GASP.

NEIL LEONARD works as a sound artist, electronic musician, composer and saxophonist. Leonard’s Dreaming of an Island, (for orchestra, electronics and live-video) was premiered by the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra. Leonard's composition Totems was premiered at Carnegie Hall by Don Byron and Uri Caine. His Echoes and Footsteps was featured by the Tel Aviv Biennial for New Music, Issue Project Room (NYC) and the Auditorium di Roma. Leonard's collaborative work with visual artist Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons was featured by the 49th Venice Biennial, Museum of Modern Art (NYC); purchased by the National Gallery of Canada; and presented by the U.S. State Department at Dakar Biennial. Leonard composed the music for Relatives, by Tony Oursler and Constance DeJong featured by the Whitney Biennial. Leonard is a professor of Electronic Production and Design and Artistic Director of the Interdisciplinary Arts Institute at Berklee College of Music, Boston. He taught sound installation at the University of Padova and the C. Pollini Conservatory, Italy.
Admission: Free to the public

For Directions & Campus map: www.northeastern.edu/campusmap/maps.html

Organizer: Department of Art + Design
Contact: Judy Ulman j.ulman@neu.edu