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Bradley Leighton

Bradley Leighton brings a unique and powerful sound to flute. His style of swing evolved from listening to the big, hi-octane bands of Kenton, Herman and Ferguson in the 60's-70's. His funkiness derives from years of listening to Tower of Power, Earth, Wind & Fire, the Brecker Brothers and countless other soul/R&B acts. He brings a fire and flair not usually heard nor expected from a flutist. Bradley has performed across the US and Asia, as both sideman and bandleader, for over 25 years. His most recent gigs included headlining the Gainesville Jazz Festival and opening for Gerald Albirght at the Greater Hartford Jazz Festival.

Bradley Leighton is currently a Yamaha Performing Artist, a teacher and clinician and performing at venues across the United States and in Europe. He's flute coach at Oak Park Elementary in San Diego, CA - the music magnet school.

He now resides in San Diego.


Nominated for Best Jazz Album of the Year, 2005 & 2006 and 2008 by the San Diego Music Academy.


Bradley is a Yamaha Performing Artist and uses Yamaha concert, alto and bass flutes. He also uses Eppler wooden headjoints.


Album Review
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While Leighton's session carries only memories of a bygone era, it succeeds in reminding us that music remains the lifeblood of what inspires us every day. ~Jim Santella, LA Jazz Scene

As the title suggests, Bradley Leighton takes us back to the time when jazz and funk made perfect bedfellows by blending his harmonious alto flute into these caked-on grooves. But it’s not so much pimplicious as it is straight up delicious. With plenty of bass and strings, Leighton knows how to lay the thing down. It’ll make you dance, it’ll make you prance. You’ll be boppin’ to this groove way down in the seat of your pants. "b.m.w. rollingout.com

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Primary Instrument


Willing to teach

Advanced only


Music For Life Improvisation for the Amateur Musician - For Adults and High School Students. A day of musicmaking specifically for adult amateur musicians who want to recapture the fun of making music. This is the perfect class for those returning to their instruments for the first time in years, or, for active players looking for a gratifying introduction to improvising music. Making music is a proven way to reduce stress and increase wellness in one's life — and it's FUN. Playing spontaneously with other musicians is one of life's great joys. Passing on the knowledge and experience he garnered in twenty five years as a performer, clinician and recording artist, Bradley will have you jamming like a pro in just a few hours. Whether you want to play with your friends at the local coffee shops' open mic night, perform in church, or just entertain yourself - this clinic will prepare you to impress your friends and amaze your family with your heretofore "undiscovered" talent, the ability to improvise. Topics covered during the clinic include: Improvisation - what it is and what it isn't Da Blues - it ain't rocket science Chords and Scales - how they go together Lead Sheet - everything you need to know is there Simple Chord Progressions - what many songs are made of Working with the Rhythm Section - don't shoot the piano player! Bandstand Etiquette - how not to get booted from the stage Clinic instruction will be followed by an evening concert where clinic participants will be able to try their new skills with the backing from a professional rhythm section. Material will be suited to each player's individual skill level and desire - any style of popular, secular or jazz music may be performed. Jazz Flute Masterclass A comprehensive examination of the technique, interpretation and pedagogy of jazz and popular flute music. Topics may include: jazz articulations achieving a believable swing feel improvisation working with a rhythm section electronic effects and amplification of the flute recordings and the music business. Participants are encouraged to prepare a short selection (3-5 minutes) to share with the class for review and critique. Big Flute (Sub-Contra Bass Flute) Demonstrations Bradley is the proud owner of the 5th in a series of sub-contra bass flutes made by J. Hogenhuis of The Netherlands. This sub-contra bass flute is made from what we westerners refer to as "sewer pipe" or PVC tubing. It plays in the same range as a bass guitar. Bradley brings this flute to the IAJE every year and will travel with it for demonstrations to children in grade schools and high schools. Band or Vocal Jazz Ensemble Techniques and Performance Give your students a taste of what it's like to work with real, professional musicians . . . and perform with them! In this setting, Bradley will hold a 1/2 day rehearsal/clinic with your group in preparation for an evening concert, which will feature your students performing arrangements with Bradley and/or his rhythm section. Students are inspired and instructed on musicality and emotion content in their playing and on different techniques that can be used to "tighten up" the ensemble. Bradley excels in bringing the best out of your young students. Opportunities in Music or "I got a B.A. . . . so now what?" Our society is very "success" conscience; and our students are often led to believe that if they are not playing with a symphony, or the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra . . . or selling millions of albums . . . then they have not achieved success. There are hundreds of opportunities in the music industry and Mr. Leighton tries to cover as many as possible in this free form, question and answer session. Always covered are the opportunities in teaching, military bands, recording artist, movies-tv scores, video games . . . even the newly evolving market of cellphone ring tones . . . we'll leave no question unanswered . . . we'll name names and quote figures (just how much do you get for selling a million copies?) and pull no punches. Bradley's goal is to be able to offer valuable info or experience that directly relates to the individual student's goals and aspirations

Clinic/Workshop Information

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Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Soul Collective

Pacific Coast Jazz


Back To The Funk

Voise Records


Just Doin' Our Thang

Pacific Coast Jazz


East Coast Project

Pacific Coast Jazz




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