Michael Leonhart

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Michael Leonhart
Leonhart with Sean Ono Lennon in 2022.
Leonhart with Sean Ono Lennon in 2022.
Background information
Born (1974-04-21) April 21, 1974 (age 49)
GenresJazz, rock, pop
Instrument(s)Trumpet, trombone, flugelhorn
LabelsSunnyside, Truth and Soul

Michael Leonhart (born April 21, 1974) is an American jazz trumpeter and multi-instrumentalist.

Solo career[edit]

In 1992 Leonhart was honored with the first Grammy Award for outstanding high school musician in the US (he attended Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School).[1] He was the youngest Grammy recipient to date. He was 17 years old. In February of the same year ABC World News named him Person of the Week.[2]

Leonhart 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 co-produced Donald Fagen's fourth solo album, Sunken Condos (2012).

He recorded with Yoko Ono as a featured member of The Plastic Ono Band in 2009 for her album, Between My Head and the Sky[3] and again in 2013 on her album Take Me to the Land of Hell. He played with Monkey House on two albums: Headquarters (2012)[4] and Left (2016).[5]

In 2015, he collaborated with the Antibalas and The Dap-Kings horn sections, Mark Ronson, and Bruno Mars to record "Uptown Funk" and other tracks on the album Uptown Special (2015).[6][7][8][9][10][11][12]

He has also worked with A Tribe Called Quest, John Barry, James Brown, Busta Rhymes, David Byrne, Mos Def, DJ Spooky, Brian Eno, Bill Frisell, Levon Helm, Lenny Kravitz, Arto Lindsay, Henry Mancini, Arif Mardin, Wynton Marsalis, Michael McDonald, Bobby McFerrin, Natalie Merchant, Q-Tip, Raekwon, Bonnie Raitt, Joshua Redman, Todd Rundgren, Skizm, Slash, Steven Tyler, Caetano Veloso, and Bill Withers.

Michael Leonhart & the Avramina 7[edit]

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.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Michael Leonhart is the son of Jay Leonhart,[14] noted jazz bassist, and the brother of vocalist Carolyn Leonhart.[15]


As leader[edit]

  • Aardvark Poses (Sunnyside, 1995)
  • Glub Glub Vol. 11 (Sunnyside, 1997)
  • Slow (Sunnyside, 2002)
  • The Suzy Lattimore EP (self-released, 2005)
  • The Ballad of Minton Quigley (self-released, 2006)
  • Hotel Music (St. Ives, 2008)
  • Seahorse & the Storyteller (Truth and Soul, 2010)
  • The Painted Lady Suite (Sunnyside, 2018)
  • Suite Extracts Vol. 1 (Sunnyside, 2019)
  • The Normyn Suites (Sunnyside, 2022)


  • The Alchemy EP (self-released, 2021)
  • Bona Fide (self-released, 2022)

As sideman or guest[edit]

With Vinicius Cantuaria

  • Sol Na Cara (Gramavision, 1996)
  • Tucuma (Verve, 1998)
  • Vinicius (Transparent, 2001)
  • Horse and Fish (Rykodisc, 2004)
  • Cymbals (Naive, 2007)

With Jay Leonhart

  • The Double Cross (Sunnyside, 1988)
  • Galaxies and Planets (Sons of Sound, 2001)
  • Rodgers & Leonhart (Sons of Sound, 2002)

With others


  1. ^ Hevesi, Dennis (1992-02-26). "Grammy for High School Jazz: A Serious Swinger". NY Times. Retrieved 2010-02-04.
  2. ^ "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.
  3. ^ "Yoko Ono – Plastic Ono Band | Imagine Peace". Yopob.com. 1970-12-11. Retrieved 2011-04-25.
  4. ^ "Headquarters". AllMusic. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  5. ^ Frasier, Preston (12 June 2016). "Don Breithaupt, of Monkey House: Something Else! Interview". Something Else!. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ Johnston, Maura (2015-01-09). "Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson head 'Uptown' to No. 1". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2015-03-20.
  10. ^ Schiff, Mark (2014-11-10). "Mark Ronson shares funky new song with Bruno Mars, announces upcoming album". AXS. Retrieved 2015-03-20.
  11. ^ Molanphy, Chris (2015-01-13). "Why Is Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars' "Uptown Funk!" No. 1?". Slate. Retrieved 2015-03-20.
  12. ^ Byron, Tim. "Number Ones: Mark Ronson ft Bruno Mars 'Uptown Funk'". The Vine. Archived from the original on 2015-03-21. Retrieved 2015-03-20.
  13. ^ "Michael Leonhart Discography". Archived from the original on 23 December 2010. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
  14. ^ Holden, Stephen (2010-01-14). "The Bass Art of 'Nukular' Versification". NY Times. Retrieved 2010-02-01.
  15. ^ "Carolyn Leonhart at All About Jazz". allaboutjazz.com. Archived from the original on 1 June 2010. Retrieved 18 September 2017.

External links[edit]