Biography

One of the more celebrated Brazilian musicians, the saxophonist Leo Gandelman has achieved an entirely unique platform in Brazil – rare indeed to the wider world: he is worshipped by the mainstream public, young and pop, and by the fans of MPB (a Brazilian type of music known as Brazilian Popular Music); while at the same time associating his name to the excellence and virtuosity of classical music. In fact, Leo Gandelman surpasses the borders of classic and popular music aboard the quality of his saxophone, conferring a highly advanced level of appeal and “pop” emotion to classical pieces, while on the other hand, exercising talent in his interpretation, purity and the precision of his sound in popular and instrumental music. Saxophonist, arranger and producer, Leo Gandelman is today one of the most influential musicians in Brazil. Son of a classical pianist and of a teacher, by the age of 15 he was already a soloist for the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra. Combined with a solid classical foundation, Gandelman set off to study at Berklee College of Music, in the United States, returning to Brazil in 1979 for the beginning of his professional career. Since then, Leo has dedicated himself intensely to his career, having participated to this day in over 800 recordings. He launched his solo career in 87′ taking inspiration mainly from Brazilian music and Jazz – but always with a clear creative versatility. These have been trademarks that shaped his career, and that have gone on to allow him to be chosen by the public for 15 consecutive years as “the Best Brazilian Musician” in the “Diretas Já” contest, run yearly by one of the country’s biggest newspaper, Jornal do Brasil. Leo’s work was also received with big success in the United States, where he developed a noticeable career in the last decade, with right to six seasons of a full house at the Blue Note in New York. Fluent in the flow between Jazz and classic, Gandelman participated as a soloist in 2001 the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra the concerts at the Lincoln Center and at the Central Park. Upon his return to Brazil, Gandelman also was also a soloist for the Bahia Symphony Orchestra and the Ribeirão Preto Symphony Orchestra among others. Under the conductorship of the master John Nashling Leo performed with the OSESP in 2003. In 2004, he was invited by the Symphony Orchestra of Brasilia to perform for President Lula and his governmental guests. Finally in 2006 he recorded a CD/DVD with the Symphony Orchestra of the Petrobrás, under the conductorship of the master Isaac Karabtchevsky, performing a Concertino of Radamés Ganattali that was distributed by the Radio Ministry of Education and Culture (Rádio MEC). Leo recorded twenty-one discs and three DVDs throughout his solo career, selling over half a million copies. Leo has already recorded ten albums along the course of his solo career, having sold over 500,000 you copies. In the last years he has carried out workshops and has participated in various festivals around the country. With the album “Radamés and the Sax” Leo Gandelman earned two TIM awards in 2007 for “Best Instrumental Album” and “Best Producer” and have partnered with Egberto Gismonti, Toninho Horta, Wagner Tiso, Cesar Camargo Mariano, Chucho Valdez, Bernard Purdie and other great artists of Brazilian music. At the end of 2008 he released the CD and DVD “Sabe Você”, a beautiful revisit of Brazilian ballads with special guest appearances of big names of the MPB such as Caetano Veloso, Chico Buarque, Milton Nascimento, Luiz Melodia, Leny Andrade, Ney Matogrosso, Joel Nascimento and Leila Pinheiro. In 2009 Leo participated in the “Moscow City Jazz Festival” and was also in Caracas where under the Regency of Issac Karabitchevsky, he was a soloist for the “Young Orchestra of Caracas”. In 2010 Leo travelled around Spain, Russia and Italy with his quartet, in addiction in participating in jazz festivals around Brazil. In 2011 Leo launched his own Record Label “Saxsamba” with the release of the CD”Origens”, concerts for Saxophone and Piano. In 2012 released the CD/DVD “Vip Vop” in Brasil and Europe, receiving excelent reviews by the international critics and worldwide visibility. In 2013, Leo Gandelman dedicated to tour VIP VOP, the special projects with orchestras, and also the release of the album “North Winds”, whose design is a tribute to brazilian northeastern saxophonists who had fundamental importance in building language brazilian saxophone. In 2014, continued with the tour of “Vip Vop”, “Winds of the North”, released the album “Border Music in duo with pianist Eduardo Farias addition to concerts and projects with orchestras acting as a solist. In 2015 he was invited as a soliist of the Moscow Symphony Orchestra for the project “Viva Bossa Nova”, continued with the tour of “Border Music, with its projects with orchestras and launches the album “Old New Ideas – The sax of gafieira to sambajazz” commemorating the 100th anniversary of samba with this tribute to saxophonist Casé. As a solist of the Moscow Symphony Orchestra performed the “Brasiliana 7” by Radames Gnattali and “The Four Songs of the Amazon Forest”, by Heitor Villa Lobos. In 2016 continues with its projects in classical music and popular music.