Friday, August 31, 2007
I will give a workshop at the Conservatorio Statale di Musica 'A. Steffani' di Castelfranco Veneto, Italy
I will present three works in concert at the conservatory, including the world premier of a wind quintet dedicated to Paul Robeson entitled "4951 Walnut". This piece is a larger arrangement of a work for jazz quartet that was commissioned by the Paul Robeson House and Philigraphika.
The following day I present works for dancers/saxophone/electronics and dancers/acoustic guitar/electronics at Teatro Maddalena in Padova. The hosting group is Interensemble, directed by Bernardino Beggio.
The program features new works by choreographer Elena Borgatti.
The Neil Leonard Ensemble in the Paul Robeson House, premiering "Sonic Memories In/Site" a suite of new works celebrating phase one of the renovation of Robeson's home.
I was commissioned by Philagrafika to compose music to celebrate the first phase of restoration of the Paul Robeson House. This is the house where he spent much of the last ten years of his life. I presented works for jazz ensemble and sound for an installation by Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons at the Robeson House in West Philadelphia.
I played with a stellar group of Philly musicians. I was in a band with Tom Lawton (piano) when I was a teenager. We rehearsed every week for two years. The trombonist was Robin Eubanks - The trumpeter was my brother Devin. This will be the first time that I play with Tom in over two decades.
Performance: October 13, 5 pm and 6:30 pm
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)
Paul Robeson House
Corner/Opera. Rethinking a Site.
A Site-Specific Installation by Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons
4951 Walnut Street
Re:Print Re:Present Re:View
Re:Print Re:Present Re:View is part of an effort to facilitate critical dialogue about the role of printmaking in contemporary art that will culminate with Philagrafika 2010. Increasingly, artists have embraced printmaking processes as an integral part of interdisciplinary practice and each of the artists participating, Berni Searle, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, and Rachid Koraïchi, whose use of printmaking reflects their commitment to community, collaboration and an expanded concept of the fine print.
Curated by Salah Hasan, the project includes three artist residencies, an artist publication and the exhibition of the work created over the course of the residencies. The multi-sited exhibition will run September-November, 2007 at our project partner, Temple Gallery in Old City, Philadelphia, as well as site specific installations at Paul Robeson House and Church of the Advocate.
I was honored to work with art historian/curator Salah Hasan (left) who brought our work to the Venice Biennial, 2001.
Equatorial Rhythms features Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons video Baño Sagrado, with a 35 minute electro-acoustic score by Neil Leonard. The catalog will include excerpts of the video and and Leonard's remix of the piece on the accompanying DVD/CD.
September 28 – December 30, 2007
Equatorial Rhythms will focus on the art and music of countries that have deep-rooted, indigenous musical traditions that are unique to each participating country – musical traditions that are anchored in the national identities and daily lives of the people of these countries.
By presenting both art and music by artists from the selected countries, and in many instances a crossover between art and music, the synergy between art and music will come to the fore. All in all, the complex cultural issues addressed throughout the exhibition will contribute to an extensive, interdisciplinary, cross-cultural dialogue – one that runs both North/South and East/West.
Kader Attia (France)
Kristin Bergaust (Norway)/Alexis Parra (Cuba)
Kjetil Berge (Norway/Cuba-Brasil)
Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons (Cuba)/Neil Leonard (US)
Albert Chong (Jamaica)
Christopher Cozier (Trinidad and Tobago)
Heri Dono / Jompet (Indonesia)
Andrew Dosunmu (UK)
Theo Eshetu (UK/Ethiopia)
Satch Hoyt (UK/Jamaica)
Alfredo Jaar (Chile)
Yvette Mattern (Puerto Rico/Germany)/Don Byron (US)
Salem Mekuria (Ethiopia)
Lamia Naji (Morocco)
Olu Oguibe (Nigeria)
Eder Santos (Brasil)
Guilherme Vaz / Sergio Bernardes (Brasil)
Paulo Vivacqua (Brasil)
Vu Nhat Tan (Vietnam)
From the liner notes:
Notes on a Music Festival
American Composers Forum, New England
Sonic Circuits 2006, International Electronic Music Festival
New Music from Israel and the U.S. presented in Tel Aviv, Haifa, Boston and New York
In October of 2006, I found myself sitting in cafe with Ido Govrin and Liora Belford in a southern district of Tel Aviv. Over lunch we reflected on performances that we had just presented in Israel and began to wonder how we could present these works to an audience world-wide. This CD is the result of that conversation and is comprised of recordings of concerts in Tel Aviv, Haifa, Boston and New York.
One week prior to this discussion, I arrived in Tel Aviv for the ACF concerts that were curated and produced by Kiki Keren-Huss. The series, entitled “Nothing Works as Planned”, began with a concert hosted by the Tel Aviv Biennale of New Music and held at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. We performed in a large suite of galleries that was between exhibitions and therefore void of art work. The high ceilings, long reverberation and departure from conventional concert seating made for a cathedral-like setting and proved to be an ideal site for the concert of works featuring electronics, small ensembles and large video projections.
A few days later we drove to Haifa to present work in a concert at the University of Haifa. Weeks earlier Haifa had been bombed and for some time there was a question whether or not we would have to postpone the tour. By the time we arrived in Haifa, the city appeared to be serene and we presented the second concert in Israel with works by Liora Bedford, Ido Govrin, Kiki Keren-Huss, Yosi Mar-Chaim, Keren Rosenbaum, Arie Shapira, Amnon Wolman and myself.
In December Keren-Huss, Shapira and Wolman traveled to the US to continue the series. Our first concert was held at Berklee College of Music in Boston, and also featured works by Jonathan Chen, Dennis Miller and myself. Many of the works that were performed in Israel were performed again with US performers, making this an ideal experience for the composers to hear their works unfold in new ways and for new audiences.
The series concluded with a concert at the Issue Project Room in Brooklyn, New York. IPR is located in a circular tower that was once a silo situated on the Gowanus Canal. Again, the unconventional setting and the unique acoustical space made an ideal venue for the performance of electronic music.
I would like to thank David McMullin, Director of ACFNE for all of his hard work to bring the events to a successful conclusion. Dr. Beth Denisch, the founder of ACFNE, was the original architect of this international exchange. Dr. Denisch worked for several years to establish this unique link between the sister cities Boston and Haifa. Her efforts brought composers together to present work, collaborate on performances and share ideas. At the conclusion of the concerts, the composers on this CD suggested that we include her work, as her artistic vision and dedication were central to our activities.
Curator/Producer, Sonic Circuits ACFNE
Jack and Luna's cafe' proudly presents:
Neil Leonard - sax
Bill Pernice - piano (Jon Hendriks/Willie Nelson)
Don Miller - bass (Dizzy Gillespie/Ramsey Lewis)
Chris Bowman - drums (John Hassell, Paul Bley, Jane Ira Bloom)
Saturday September 1
shows 7:30 7 9:00 PM
Jack and Luna's cafe'
3926 Main St.
Stone Ridge, NY
845 687- 9794 for reservations
I have had the pleasure of playing with Chris Bowman since '78. This is a photo of one of our bands featuring: Bowman, Leonard, David Bryant - piano, Jamalaadeen Tacuma - bass.