Leo Green

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For the character, see Leo Green (Containment).
Leo Green
Born (1972-08-30) 30 August 1972 (age 44)
Occupation(s) Musician, broadcaster, promoter
Instruments Saxophone, clarinet
Years active 1993–present
Website www.theleogreenexperience.com

Leo Green (30 August 1972) is a British musician, broadcaster, producer, actor, musical arranger and concert promoter.[citation needed]

Early life[edit]

Green is the son of the late BBC Radio 2 broadcaster, writer, and musician Benny Green and actress Toni Kanal, and is the brother of the writer and musician Dominic Green.

Career in the 1990s[edit]

At the age of 20, Green was playing sax for Jerry Lee Lewis. Lewis called Green "the greatest sax player I have ever worked with".[1] Following two years touring the world with Jerry Lee Lewis, Green joined Van Morrison's band from 1995 to 2000, appearing all over the world, playing concerts, festivals, and theatres. During this period, Green recorded many albums with Morrison, as a soloist and as an arranger.[2] He also spent two years touring and recording with Jools Holland, toured the world with Lisa Stansfield, and toured regularly with Marti Pellow.

By age 30, he had worked with many major musical figures: All Saints, Annie Ross, Ben E. King, Bo Diddley, Bob Dylan, Brian Kennedy, Bryan Ferry, Carl Perkins, Cerys Matthews, Chrissie Hynde, Chuck Berry, Daniel Bedingfield, Dannii Minogue, Dina Carroll, Dionne Warwick, Elvis Costello, Emma Bunton, Eric Clapton, Gabrielle, Georgie Fame, Hank Crawford, Heather Small, James Brown, Jay Kay, Jeff Beck, Jimmy McGriff, Jimmy Witherspoon, John Dankworth, Joss Stone, Lionel Richie, Little Richard, Little Walter, Lulu, Mick Hucknall, Mose Allison, Noel Gallagher, Paul Carrack, Paul McCartney, Paul Weller, Petula Clark, Ray Charles, Ray Davies, Roger Daltrey, Ronnie Wood, Ryan Adams, Sam Moore, Sharleen Spiteri, Simon Webbe, Stereophonics, Sting, Tom Jones. In addition he has served as the producer for Robbie Williams.[1]

He made his acting debut in the British movie Swing, in which he appeared alongside Hugo Speer, Rita Tushingham, Tom Bell, Alexei Sayle, Clarence Clemons, and Lisa Stansfield, and was also featured on the soundtrack album.

Green was the musical director and conductor for Burt Bacharach and Hal David during their show at the Royal Albert Hall. Green was musical director, arranger and conductor for Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller for their show at the Hammersmith Apollo.


Green began booking and promoting shows in the U.K. and was appointed Artistic Director of Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in 2005, prior to a huge refurbishment. As Artistic Director, Green overhauled the stage times and opening hours of the club and introduced the concept of 2 houses in one night at the club. In two and a half years, Green booked, contracted and promoted over 400 acts and persuaded artists to appear at the club, including Branford Marsalis, Chick Corea, Chris Botti, David Sanborn, Jeff Beck, Joan Armatrading, José Feliciano, Keely Smith, Little Jimmy Scott, Macy Gray, Marlena Shaw, Monty Alexander, Ramsey Lewis, Ron Carter, Roy Hargrove, The Stylistics, Tony Bennett, Van Morrison, and Wynton Marsalis.

In December 2007 Green left Ronnie Scott's and moved to the 02 where he spent two years as Senior Booker for AEG Live booking, contracting, and promoting acts into AEG's flagship venue "Indigo2". In 2011 Green co-founded Bluesfest London and is currently the festival director.

Other activities[edit]

Green also plays saxophone and sings in his own band, The Leo Green Experience.[3]


Green has presented on Smooth FM, from October 2008–June 2012 he hosted his own show, Leo Green and Friends, on Jazz FM, for which he received a nomination for "Best Newcomer on U.K. Radio" at the Arqiva Radio Awards.

In 2013 Green made his debut on BBC Radio2 and has since written and presented series for the station, including:

Green On Green - a series celebrating Green's father Benny Green (2013)[4]

Leo Green's Hollywood Special (2013)[4]

It Was A Very Good Year - The Ervin Drake Story - a series celebrating the composer Ervin Drake (2014)[4]

Ella And The Songbooks - a series celebrating Ella Fitzgerald's songbook recordings. (2014)[4]

Too Late To Stop Now - The Van Morrison Story - a series featuring interviews between Green and Van Morrison (2014)[4]

On June 8, 2015 Green began presenting Sounds Of The 50s With Leo Green.[5]


Green has written for The Guardian and GQ Magazine, among others.[6]

Musical style[edit]

Green's saxophone style is heavily influenced by the rhythm and blues players of the 1950s, Big Jay McNeely, Illinois Jacquet, Arnett Cobb, King Curtis, and Junior Walker. His explosive, high energy stage performances have become his trademark. In 2010 the legendary guitarist Jeff Beck said, "Leo Green has to be one of the best and craziest saxophonists ever".[7]



As guest[edit]

With Jeff Beck

With Van Morrison

With Lisa Stansfield

With Jane Horrocks

  • Further Adventures of Little Voice Jane Horrocks (2000)

With Jools Holland

  • Small World Big Band (2001)
  • Swing Album (2001)
  • Jools Holland's Big Band (2002)
  • More Friends: Small World Big Band, Vol. 2 (2002)
  • Swinging the Blues Dancing the Ska (2005)

Daniel Bedingfield

  • Gotta Get Thru This (2002)

With Beth Gibbons & Rustin Man

With Various

  • Songs of Jimmie Rodgers: A Tribute (1997)
  • A Tribute to Bacharach & David (2001)
  • A Tribute to Leiber & Stoller (2002)
  • Let Me Be Your Side Track: The Influence of Jimmy Rogers (2008)[8]


  1. ^ a b "The Leo Green - Live Music | Live Events Sax - Leo Green - Saxophonist". Internet Archive. 3 January 2015. Retrieved 29 September 2016. 
  2. ^ Becker, Günter. "Van Morrison: song database". ivan.vanomatic.de. Retrieved 29 August 2010. 
  3. ^ http://www.theleogreenexperience.com
  4. ^ a b c d e http://www.theleogreenexperience.com/leo-green-broadcaster/
  5. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05tzg72
  6. ^ http://www.theleogreenexperience.com/leo-green-writer/
  7. ^ Beck, Jeff (17 June 2010). "Jeff Beck". jeffbeck.com. Archived from the original on 19 August 2010. Retrieved 29 August 2010. 
  8. ^ "Leo Green". Allmusic. Retrieved 23 December 2008. 

External links[edit]