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Joe Leader

Joe Leader

Joe Leader

How did this new album and overall concept for it come about, and what are your ultimate goals with it?

It was originally intended as just a recording to capture my debut solo Smooth Jazz gig. The show featured a collection of some of my favourite Smooth Jazz tunes, which I arranged, ‘Seductive Sax’ style! After listening back to the recording, I realised that we had captured such an inspired live gig, that I felt it deserved to be shared. My goal for the album is to introduce Saxman - Joe Leader to the world of Smooth Jazz…and beyond! I hope that it truly touches the hearts of my audience every time they listen to it.

How would you describe what inspires you to do what you do?

I was born to be a performer. As the Son of a famous concert Pianist, it is in my blood. My mother taught me to think about the emotion I wish to convey to my audience, though my music. As an ‘Artist’ my playing has to be an extension of who I am. When I play, my intention is to “make atmosphere” with each note, each movement, each breath.

I live each note, in every moment. This allows me to truly feel and project profound emotion to my audience. In my music, as well as in my life, I am inspired to constantly push the boundaries, understanding that there are limitless possibilities to be explored.

What elements do you look for in a song that makes it especially satisfying for you to perform?

I look for a song that has a strong melody and with that certain something that touches my heart. The song must have the potential to be re-worked, allowing my creative self to explore a fusion of different styles within the Smooth Jazz Genre – Jazz, Blues, B&B, Soul, Latin and many more…

What in your life outside of your music drives you in a creative sense?

I have studied the Japanese martial art Aikido, since I was 7 years old, and now hold a 2nd Degree Black belt.

Aikido is a balance of mind, body and spirit, cultivating the highest level of health, fitness, and mental clarity. Together with a vision and a spiritual connection to my higher-self, this allows me to express who I am through the medium of music, and to inspire people with my performances. It taught me how to flow with movement, maintaining balance, inner strength and clarity of thought.

This philosophy and dedication was tremendously important in my music performance, as it too, required a harmonious interaction with other musicians on stage, as well as the ability to flow with an improvised solo.

What would be the most important piece of advice you’d impart to a young musician just starting out in the jazz/smooth jazz arena?

Always have passion for what you do. If it gets you out of bed in the morning with a smile on your face and fire in your heart, then you’re doing the right thing! Focus on your intention and purpose
in your life and in your music…..make sure they are aligned with your highest values. Above all, stay true to yourself and express that in your music, with every note you play! Make sure that your physical body supports your musical activities i.e. keep fit, eat well, sleep well and believe in yourself no matter what. Stay the course!

What’s your favourite charity or cause you work for, and why?

It is an honour to be a Global Ambassador for the ‘Global Angels’ foundation. This is a ‘100% Promise’ charity which affects positive change to millions of underprivileged children and their
communities around the world.

Getting to know Molly Bedingfield, the founder, I was inspired by her belief that one person with a vision can affect positive change on a global level, and was excited to be a part of the Global Angel family.

I stand by my belief in life, that anything my mind can conceive, and my heart believes, I CAN achieve. I have overcome many health challenges in my life, and as an ambassador, my aim is to be an inspiration and an example of the limitless possibilities of courage and determination to get
through all adversity.

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Earl Klugh’s 7th Weekend of Jazz at Kiawah Island
Earl Klugh's Weekend of Jazz : Kiawah Island
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Kiawah Island Golf Resort
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