ABOUT LONNIE
Mastery as a jazz performer consists of the ability to fully communicate one's feeling and spirit through one's personal expression. Lonnie Leibowitz, as with any true artist, has spent years paying his dues to achieve a high level of mastery as a pianist and composer. His well-crafted and intensely emotional conception has shown forth as unique while altogether appealing. It is fortunate that over recent years his music has begun to reach the ears of a wider audience.
 
Lonnie's childhood in Queens, NY included piano lessons and performances as a pianist, guitarist, bassist, and singer in rock and funk bands. He began composing for the voice and piano as early as age 12, and soon began to branch out toward jazz. Lonnie's music education in jazz piano, conception, and harmony continued with Connie Crothers and Sal Mosca, both protégés of the legendary Lennie Tristano. In addition to private study with these masters, Lonnie augmented his musical knowledge and compositional skills with conservatory training at the Aaron Copland School of music.
 
Throughout the 1980's, Lonnie established himself as a music educator while continuing to perform in a variety of contexts. He performed as a sideman with jazz trumpet great Jimmy Nottingham and others touring the USA and Canada. Involved with many different music genres and scenes, he has performed at many New York City clubs. He has headlined at Birdland, The Five Spot, The Bitter End, Tatou, Sign of the Dove, JP's, Eric's, and Smalls.
 
Other appearances include concerts at the Tusten Jazz/Blues Festival, in St. Paul's Festival of the Arts, and outdoors at The Bayard Cutting Arboretum on Long Island. Lonnie has also performed in concert at Queens College, Lehigh College, the College of New Rochelle, Dowling College, and recently as part of a jazz series at Sussex Community College, as well as many music festivals in and around the tri-state area.
 
In 1995, Lonnie's long awaited debut recording, "Three", was released by Trimaster Records. The critically acclaimed CD, showcasing Lonnie's playing and compositional talents, featured eight original compositions. It also featured the artistry of trumpet great Claudio Roditi and bassists Eddie Gomez and Rufus Reid. Since then he has been featured as a guest on several radio shows throughout the country, including WKCR in New York. He has also been featured on artist profile shows seen on Westchester and Time Warner Hudson Valley Cable TV.
 
In 1997, Trimaster released Lonnie's second CD, "Piano Mountain". Autobiographical and spiritual in nature, the recording features Lonnie with a piano trio. This unique artistic package includes a mix of seven original compositions, standards, and spotlights his poetry, as an additional expression of his vision. The CD also features the playing and support of one of the industry's finest bassists, Drew Gress.
 
2005 saw the release of "Terra's Ascension", Lonnie's original solo piano opus.
Comprised mostly of free improvisations, and the main theme, a written composition with improvised variations as the opening and closing title track, this collection touches many musical boundaries, and has many diverse musical influences; some perhaps outside of what is usually considered to be “jazz”.  The music is presented with titles pertaining mostly to spiritual and earth concerns, and is delivered with a highly emotionally, intense, but clear, original conception.
 
A published BMI composer since 1995, Lonnie has been awarded grants from Meet the Composer in 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000 and 2002. His song, "Broken in Two", has been used on network and cable TV, appearing on NBC's "Another World", "The Drew Carey Show", “Dark Angel” and many others. The song also appeared in the Sony Tri-Star motion picture, "Crazy in Alabama", released in October 1999.
 
Lonnie has also been awarded performance/composition grants from Westchester, Putnam, and
Duchess counties and has performed many concerts all over the Tri State area.
 
Equaling all the passion he has for his jazz music, Lonnie is now releasing a new CD, that gives expression to his “singer/songwriter side”. This project, long developing in his unconscious, showcases his talents as songwriter, arranger, pianist, singer and producer.  Lonnie feels that this special recording,
will reach the ears, mind and hearts of many souls, beyond the mainstream/progressive jazz audience.