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Leo Genovese
Leo Genovese

Leo Genovese, the Argentine jazz pianist, keyboardist, and composer, has traversed continents with his musical prowess. Born in 1979 in Venado Tuerto, Argentina, he discovered his love for the piano at a young age but truly honed his craft in his teenage years. Shifting his focus from accounting to music, Genovese pursued his dreams at the esteemed Berklee College of Music, graduating in 2003. Since then, his artistic journey has been an evolution of sounds, releasing albums like Haiku II and Unlocked, showcasing his growth as an artist. Collaborating with The Mars Volta and the talented Esperanza Spalding, Genovese’s versatility has left a global mark on the jazz scene. Critics have praised his boundary-pushing compositions on albums like Seeds, where he refuses to be confined by historical styles. Earning a Grammy Award for Best Improvised Jazz Solo, his piano mastery shines through in Wayne Shorter’s “Endangered Species” from Live at the Detroit Jazz Festival

Today, we delve into the heart of Leonardo Genovese’s artistry, exploring the rhythms, harmonies, and inspirations that define this remarkable musician.

Charles Carlini: Your musical journey has been nothing short of extraordinary, Leonardo. Could you share some key moments or experiences that have shaped your unique style as a jazz pianist?

Leo Genovese: In every moment lies an opportunity to learn, to grow, and to perceive the world with fresh eyes as if it were a new entity. It is through this openness that we can strive to understand others beyond the confines of our limits, rules, and beliefs. For me, it’s not about picking specific moments; it’s about embracing each and every moment. Life becomes a continuous journey of learning, allowing cosmic data to infuse its magic within us.

CC: Your collaborations with The Mars Volta and Esperanza Spalding showcase your versatility as a musician. How have these experiences influenced your artistic growth?

LG: Everything and everyone I played with has profoundly influenced me. Every experience, both on and off the bandstand, has been a valuable lesson. The shedding, the routine, the practice, and the preparation are our guiding principles. Through these, we become equipped to handle any familiar or unfamiliar situation that comes our way.

CC: Your album Seeds received high praise for its genre-blending and exploratory nature. How do you approach composing music that seamlessly blends diverse elements?

LG: We are an amalgamation of countless elements, and I believe they come alive as sound when we play. There’s no hiding who we truly are. Life transforms into music when we simply let it flow without interference. Exploration is at the core of everything we do. Improvisation, playing something we’ve never played before, embodies the essence of exploration in its purest form. Through this process, we nourish ourselves and create a personal pathway defined by our exploratory nature.

CC: Winning a Grammy Award for Best Improvised Jazz Solo is an incredible achievement. How does it feel to be recognized at such a prestigious level?

LG: I’m incredibly grateful and honored, but I must admit that I don’t believe in the word “best.” It may have its place in sports and certain fields, but for me, it rarely applies to anything related to arts, creation, spirituality, or the mysteries of life. Some things in life are immeasurable, and the ability to embrace the unknown may be one of them.

CC: You have an upcoming gig at Zinc on Tuesday, August 15, with bass legend Gene Perla. Can you tell us what the audience can expect from this performance and your collaboration with Gene?

LG: We’re going to come together and get that groove flowing. Growing up listening to Gene, I feel incredibly blessed every time I get to share the sound with him. Our elders are our school, keeping this music alive and acting as our bridge to the foundation. History can’t be forgotten or denied, so playing with a Master like Gene fills me with happiness because I know I’ll be learning from the best. Gene even recorded an album in Argentina with Stone Alliance called Con Amigos (with friends), so we might infuse some Southern flavors into our performance.

CC: Aspiring jazz musicians admire you for your diverse musical language. What advice would you give to young artists seeking to find their unique voice in the competitive world of jazz?

LG: Get yourself a passport. Dive into learning another language. Travel and explore the world. Immerse yourself in books that broaden your horizons. Watch those timeless old movies that have stories to tell. And above all, listen intently and practice diligently.

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Thank you, Leo, for sharing your musical odyssey with us. Your journey is an inspiration to aspiring musicians around the world.

To our readers, immerse yourself in the captivating sounds of Leonardo’s artistry, and witness his magical performances live whenever you can. For updates on his music and upcoming gigs, visit Leonardo Genovese on Facebook or Instagram. To purchase tickets for his upcoming performance at Zinc, click here.

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