Michael Leonhart (born April 21, 1974, New York, New York) is a noted trumpet player, producer, multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger and singer-songwriter. He has performed with such diverse artists as Steely Dan, Yoko Ono, Bobby McFerrin, and Mos Def.
In 1992 Michael was honored with the first Grammy Award for outstanding high school musician in the US. At the time, he was the youngest Grammy recipient to date. He was 17 years old. In February of that same year ABC World News named him "Person of the Week."
As a solo artist Leonhart has released six albums. He has composed and performed music for movies, television, dance, fashion shows and theater, and has appeared on over 100 albums.
Michael has performed with Steely Dan since 1996, recording two albums with them, including 2000's Grammy winning Album of the Year Two Against Nature on which he was a featured soloist, arranger and conductor. He is also co-producer of Donald Fagen's fourth solo album Sunken Condos released in 2012. Over his career he has performed and/or recorded with such diverse artists as A Tribe Called Quest, Arif Mardin, Arto Linsday, Bill Frisell, Bill Withers, Bobby McFerrin, Bonnie Raitt, Brian Eno, Busta Rhymes, Caetano Veloso, D.J. Spooky, David Byrne, Henry Mancini, James Brown, John Barry, Joshua Redman, Lenny Kravitz, Levon Helm, Mark Ronson, Michael McDonald, Mos Def, Natalie Merchant, Q-Tip, Raekwon (Wutang Clan), Slash (Guns and Roses/ Velvet Revolver), Steven Tyler (Aerosmith), Todd Rundgren, and Wynton Marsalis.
Most recently, Michael recorded with Yoko Ono as a featured member of The Plastic Ono Band for her upcoming album, Between My Head and the Sky. Michael also appears on upcoming albums by Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Foreigner, Sean Lennon, and Yuka Honda (Cibo Matto).
Michael performed with the rock band Phish at their Halloween Night concert in 2010 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ, as part of a backing horn section for the Vermont band's rendition of Little Feat's Waiting for Columbus double album.
In 2015, Michael collaborated with the Antibalas and The Dap-Kings horn sections, Mark Ronson, and Bruno Mars to record Uptown Funk and other tracks off of Mark Ronson's 2015 album Uptown Special.
Michael Leonhart & the Avramina 7
After 40 plus recordings as the house trumpet player for Truth and Soul Records, the Brooklyn-based funk and soul label released Leonhart's heavy-funk concept album Seahorse and the Storyteller in 2009.
Michael Leonhart is the son of Jay Leonhart, noted jazz bassist, and the brother of Carolyn Leonhart, vocalist. Michael is currently living in New York City with his wife, jazz singer-songwriter Jamie Leonhart, and their son Milo Quincy Leonhart.
- Aardvark Poses (1995), Sunnyside Records
- Glub Glub vol. 11 (1997), Sunnyside Records
- Slow (2002), Sunnyside Records
- The Suzy Lattimore EP (2005)
- The Ballad of Minton Quigley (2006)
- Hotel Music (2008), St. Ives - Limited Edition Vinyl
- Seahorse & the Storyteller (2010), Truth and Soul Records
- "Michael Leonhart". Michael Leonhart. Retrieved 2011-04-25.
- Hevesi, Dennis (1992-02-26). "Grammy for High School Jazz: A Serious Swinger". NY Times. Retrieved 2010-02-04.
- "Person of The Week (Michael Leonhart) - Feb 28, 1992 - ABC - TV news: Vanderbilt Television News Archive". Tvnews.vanderbilt.edu. 1992-02-28. Retrieved 2011-04-25.
- "Michael Leonhart Discography at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2011-04-25.
- "Yoko Ono – Plastic Ono Band | IMAGINE PEACE". Yopob.com. 1970-12-11. Retrieved 2011-04-25.
- Rogers, Ray (2014-11-10). "Mark Ronson Says New Single With Bruno Mars 'Uptown Funk' Is a Milestone for Both of Them". Billboard. Retrieved 2015-03-20.
- RYZIK, MELENA (2015-01-09). "Back to the Studio, With Hits in Hand: Mark Ronson’s Fourth Solo Album, ‘Uptown Special,’ Is a Star Collaboration". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-03-20.
- Fusilli, Jim (2015-01-15). "Big-Name Musicians Get Funky: Mark Ronson once again proves he has superb taste in funk and R&B on ‘Uptown Special’". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2015-03-20.
- Johnston, Maura (2015-01-09). "Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson head ‘Uptown’ to No. 1". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2015-03-20.
- Schiff, Mark (2014-11-10). "Mark Ronson shares funky new song with Bruno Mars, announces upcoming album". AXS. Retrieved 2015-03-20.
- Molanphy, Chris (2015-01-13). "Why Is Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ "Uptown Funk!" No. 1?". Slate. Retrieved 2015-03-20.
- Byron, Tim. "Number Ones: Mark Ronson ft Bruno Mars 'Uptown Funk'". The Vine. Retrieved 2015-03-20.
- "Michael Leonhart Discography". Michael Leonhart Discography. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
- Holden, Stephen (2010-01-14). "The Bass Art of ‘Nukular’ Versification". NY Times. Retrieved 2010-02-01.