Leo Genovese

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Leo Genovese
Genovese in 2020.
Genovese in 2020.
Background information
Born1979 (age 44–45)
Venado Tuerto, Argentina
Occupation(s)Musician, composer
Instrument(s)Piano, keyboards, other instruments
Years activeMid-2000s–present

Leonardo Genovese (born 1979) is an Argentine jazz pianist, keyboardist, and composer. He has played with The Mars Volta.

Life and career[edit]

Genovese was born in Venado Tuerto, Argentina, in 1979.[1] He began playing the piano at the age of 5 or 6, but became more interested in playing around ten years later.[1]

Genovese began studying music and accounting at the University of Rosario, but soon abandoned accountancy, and in 2001 he began studying at the Berklee College of Music.[1] He graduated in 2003.[1] His first album, Haiku II, was released the following year and was followed by Unlocked in 2008, but Genovese later talked them down, stating that they were "just a way to document where I was at the time".[1] From 2005 he recorded and toured internationally with bassist and vocalist Esperanza Spalding.[1]

A reviewer for The New York Times commented on Genovese's 2013 album, Seeds, that, "by refusing to privilege one historical style over another, he strengthens his claim as a polyglot".[2] Down Beat observed that Genovese's compositions for the album "share an exploratory nature, whether the new terrain in question is a marriage of electronic and acoustic sounds, an unlikely use of chromatic scaling or the successful juxtaposition of otherwise disparate ideas."[3]

Wayne Shorter & Leo Genovese, soloist won a Grammy Award for Best Improvised Jazz Solo for the Wayne Shorter composition "Endangered Species" for which Leo accompanied him on the album Live at the Detroit Jazz Festival.[4] Genovese won the DownBeat Critics Award for Rising Star – Piano in 2023.[5]


An asterisk (*) indicates that the year is that of release.

As leader/co-leader[edit]

Year recorded Title Label Personnel/Notes
2003 Haikus II Fresh Sound New Talent With Nathan Blehar (tenor sax), Phil Grenadier (trumpet), Demian Cabaud (bass), Francisco Mela (drums)
2007* Planet Safety Soul Note Trio, with Dave Zinno (bass), Bob Gullotti (drums)
2008* Unlocked Ropeadope Trio, with Justin Purtill (bass), Joe Hunt (drums); Genovese also plays wood flute
2010 Seeds Palmetto With Dan Blake (saxes), John Lockwood (bass), Bob Gullotti (drums); Sergio Miranda (percussion); Esperanza Spalding (vocals), George Garzone (sax), Ricardo Vogt (guitar), Francisco Mela (drums) added on some tracks
2017* Trippeiros Carimbo Porta-Jazz Trio, with Demian Cabaud (bass), Francisco Mela (drums)

As sideman[edit]

Year recorded Leader Title Label
2007 Esperanza Spalding Esperanza Heads Up
2009 Esperanza Spalding Chamber Music Society Heads Up
2011 Esperanza Spalding Radio Music Society Heads Up
2011* Francisco Mela and Cuban Safari Tree of Life Half Note
2012* Michael Feinberg The Elvin Jones Project Sunnyside
2013* Pancho Molina and Elias Meister Open for Business EMPM
2014* Sara Serpa and André Matos Primavera Inner Circle Music
2014* Miguel Fernandez Afrikan Blues Sax On
2015* George Garzone Crescent Jody Jazz & Jazz Hang Records
2017* Oscar Feldman Gol Zoho
2017* George Spanos Reflections Self Produced
2017 Wayne Shorter Live at the Detroit Jazz Festival Candid
2020 Omar Rodríguez-López The Clouds Hill Tapes Clouds Hill
2021 Esperanza Spalding Songwrights Apothecary Lab Concord
2022 The Mars Volta The Mars Volta Clouds Hill
2022 Jason Palmer Con Alma SteepleChase
2023 The Mars Volta Que Dios Te Maldiga Mi Corazón Clouds Hill
2023 Ohad Talmor Back to the Land Intakt[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Leonardo Genovese" (PDF). Den Entertainment. 5 February 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 February 2015. Retrieved 24 January 2023.
  2. ^ Chinen, Nate (August 12, 2013) "CDs From K. Michelle and Leo Genovese". The New York Times.
  3. ^ Odell, Jennifer (October 2013) "Leo Genovese – Seeds". Down Beat. p. 67.
  4. ^ "Leo Genovese". grammy.com. Retrieved February 8, 2023.
  5. ^ "71st Annual Critics Poll: Complete Results". DownBeat. Vol. 90, no. 8. August 2023. p. 47.
  6. ^ Le Gendre, Kevin (December 2023 – January 2024). "Ohad Talmor: Back to the Land". Jazzwise. No. 291. pp. 42–43.