My name is Mitchell Leonard
I’ve been a pianist and songwriter all my life. My childhood memories are of hot, desert afternoons learning Gershwin preludes at the piano, and cool, breezy nights, softly padding out of my room to listen to my father play drums with his jazz combo.
When I was very young, music became everything to me. It gave roots to my clumsy feet, and hope when my skies were void of stars. It taught me discipline and patience, and an understanding of other worlds and their ideas.
As I grew up, I played and shared music with all of my friends. We would spent our free hours making mixtapes, browsing the downtown record shops, sneaking out out to see shows at the VFW hall.
When I was fourteen years old, I began working as an accompanist for traveling theater companies. I discovered my knack for composition when, unable to afford the rights to the music for one of their productions, I took the lyrics for an hour-long musical and wrote entirely new music for all seven songs. When someone from the cast brought the original soundtrack to one of our cast meetings, a week into the show’s run, they all agreed that they liked what I had done better.
At sixteen, I wrote and recorded my first all original work under in my parents’ garage, under the alias Senator Crotchmeyer. I used one keyboard, a few friends, and my dad’s old four track reel-to-reel recorder. The final product was a DIY mutli-layered pop electronica album, complete with effects extemporized through a microphone reverb unit.
The Dimonet Era
In my early twenties, I formed Dimonet, which would become my musical lifeblood for the greater part of a decade. As the keyboardist and lead singer, I recorded five albums, played hundreds of shows, toured many states, and evolved personally and musically with the contributions of the differing members and their styles.
Along Came Critch
After Dimonet disbanded, I became half of Critch, a songwriting and production partnership with friend and former bandmate John Creasey. Together, we wrote dozens of songs, produced two of our own albums, and collaborated with several other artists on their works.
My Music Today
In 2012, I moved to New York. I wanted to sharpen my skill set and work with long time friend and production engineer Rich Crescenti.
First came the release The Barrelhouse E.P., my first solo offering since the garage days. My goal was to create a style that mixed my natural tendency towards bluesy, percussive piano with the feel of prohibition-era saloon tunes. I wrote and played every sound on the record, from the snaps and claps to the background oohs and aahs.
As New York grew on me, my music style began to change. My next single, Already Too Late, revealed a darker, moodier tone. Then came Wintermute, my first published foray into instrumental composition, conjuring the quiet melancholia of winter that settles across the city.
This summer I began working with local video artists Polyzonic Productions and Haisi Hu. With Polyzonic, I released the single and accompanying video for I Went Ahead and Did It Anway this past July. Haisi and I are currently working on the next project, Come Downstairs, due out in early December.
I love to share ideas and collaborate with other artists and fans alike. I also play out from time to time. Come check out a set if you’re around and down, or drop me a line with whatever’s on your mind.
As always, thanks for listening, and remember…
Enjoy the site.