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Leonisa Ardizzone

Raised by Italian opera lovers, Ardizzone began studying music at age 4 – first piano and voice, then violin at age 8 and oboe in high school. In her twenties, she found jazz.

While music was her deep love, Ardizzone’s curiosity and zest for life took her on a wild and impulse-driven journey of exploration and learning. Ardizzone has always lived her life in “Yes!” and thus rarely backs down from an opportunity for discovery. She became a biologist and then a science educator, eventually getting a doctorate from Columbia University in International Peace Education.

During her studies and subsequent work as a professor and non-profit executive, Leonisa played jazz gigs at New York City clubs including Sweet Rhythm, Iridium, Danny’s, the Duplex, and the Kitano.

The Leonisa Ardizzone Quartet formed in 1997 and released two critically acclaimed CDs, Afraid of the Heights in 2007 and the scent of bitter almonds in 2009. Critics praised the group, saying the quartet “is flexible and can turn on a dime…everyone is obviously having a good time with the music” (George Harris, All About Jazz), and sounds “at home with each other so it’s easy to feel at home with them” (Rob Lester, Talkin’ Broadway).

In 2010, shortly after the release of the quartet’s second album, Ardizzone found herself a solo mom, and her focus was squarely on raising her child. Thanks to her education background, she held various creative day jobs (even starting her own science center) and continued to make music—although not as much as she would have liked— playing gigs with her quartet and curating (as well as leading) a Jazz Vespers series at the 4th Universalist Society on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

Her “jazz ministry” helped her hear the call to actual ministry, and she received a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in 2017. Now an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister, remarried and relocated to the Hudson Valley with a fairly independent teenager, Ardizzone is ready to put jazz back on center stage. After a 10- year recording hiatus, the Leonisa Ardizzone Quartet will release the aptly named all in good time in the June of 2019.


Bailey's Bundles

Leonisa Ardizzone: A Constellation in the East

Read "Leonisa Ardizzone: A Constellation in the East" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

"For unto whomsoever much is given, of her shall be much required..."

Renaissance men and women still exist. For example, the intrepid Dr. Leonisa Ardizzone is the executive director of The Salvadore Center, a non-profit educational organization centered in New York city dedicated to educating young students and their teachers about architecture, structural engineering and urban design. In addition to her scholarly and philanthropic pursuits, Ardizonne is a wife, mother and...jazz musician. That is an embarrassment of riches.

Ardizzone has ...

Album Review

The Leonisa Ardizzone Quartet: Afraid of the Heights

Read "Afraid of the Heights" reviewed by Marcia Hillman

Vocalist Leonisa Ardizzone shows off a variety of moods and material on this, her debut CD, where she is joined by Chris Jennings (guitar), Bob Sabin (bass) and Justin Hines (drums), operating as a group rather than a vocalist with a backing band. The CD is a collection of standards and original material by both Hines and Jennings. Most of the standards are not the overexposed ones, with the exception of “Nature Boy. The ...

Album Review

The Leonisa Ardizzone Quartet: Afraid Of The Heights

Read "Afraid Of The Heights" reviewed by Michael P. Gladstone

After a listen to this exciting new jazz vocalist's debut, my first thoughts were where did Leonisa Ardizzone come from and where has she been? The New York singer actually has a rather impressive position as the Executive Director of the Salvatore Center, a not-for-profit organization that uses the built environment to instruct teachers and children about architecture, engineering and urban planning.

Although this album is just released, the same group has been performing togther for eight years. ...

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The Leonisa Ardizzone Quintet Swings Their Way into Your Heart on New Release

The Leonisa Ardizzone Quintet Swings Their Way into Your Heart on New Release

Source: Jim Eigo, Jazz Promo Services

New York, NY-January 12, 2009-

The Leonisa Ardizzone Quintet adopts old-fashioned values and modern day recording techniques on their new release The Scent of Bitter Almonds…

The Quintet and the articulate and seasoned Leonisa Ardizzone takes swinging jazz tunes and then makes it a memorable trip for everyone. The vocalists’ soft and sensual style allows her the flexibility to present perfected phrasing and at times the most enjoyable scatting in between her quintet’s marvelous instrumental breaks. ...


Performance / Tour

Leonisa Ardizzone Quintet CD Release Show at The Kitano on December 4th

Leonisa Ardizzone Quintet CD Release Show at The Kitano on December 4th

Source: Jim Eigo, Jazz Promo Services

Following-up on a critically acclaimed debut CD Afraid of the Heights (Ardijenn Music, 2007), The Leonisa Ardizzone Quintet’s sophomore release The Scent of Bitter Almonds reflects a personally tumultuous year for Leonisa that saw the temporary dissolution and subsequent renewal of her 12 year marriage. The song choices, arrangements and overall feel of the music reveal the heartbreak, uncertainty, loss, passion and rediscovery of that period. The album tells of many kinds of love and conveys the roller coaster of ...


Performance / Tour

Leonisa Ardizzone Quartet CD Release Event Friday, January 12th New Leaf Cafe

Leonisa Ardizzone Quartet CD Release Event Friday, January 12th New Leaf Cafe

Source: Jim Eigo, Jazz Promo Services

CD Release Event The Leonisa Ardizzone Quartet

Leonisa Ardizzone - Vocals Chris Jennings - Guitar Justin Hines - Drums Bob Sabin - Bass

Friday, January 12th, 2007 8:00 - 11:00 Three Sets! New Leaf Cafe Fort Tryon Park, NYC no cover/no minimum

The Leonisa Ardizzone Quartet: Afraid of the Heights Ardijenn Music 2006 Release Date: February 1, 2007 ...

“Perhaps one of the hardest-working women I’ve run across...Ms. Ardizzone once again hits the mark, surrounded by a great backing group. Ms. Ardizzone’s voice won’t overpower; instead, she stays well within the envelope, blending seamlessly with the rest of the group.  Engaging and endearing - through her choice of material and her way with a lyric, you’ll feel like you’ve made a new friend. Good stuff. “ - Doug Boynton, Girl Singers.com

"Leonisa Ardizzone has a sweetly swinging vocal style and is ably backed by a fine Quintet...She is a seasoned performer who has all the equipment and uses it well." - John Gilbert, Ejazznews

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