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Leopoldo F. Fleming

Leopoldo Fleming Afro Caribbean Jazz Ensemble.

Leopoldo is still maintaining this wonderful band, which he founded almost 31 years ago, of a special musical concept, and which includes New York and Caribbean Jazz and Latin greats. Since July 2016 he has another set-up of this in Copenhagen, including Danish and Danish-Cuban Jazz and Latin greats.


As percussionist, composer, arranger, lyricist, band leader, Leopoldo is a great personality with a rich and multicolored palette, inspiration from his Latin-Afro-Indian roots, his childhood in Puerto Rico and St. Thomas, decades as highly active in the jazz and beyond music scene of New York, and his international experience collaborating and touring all over Europe, Africa, South America, the Caribbean, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, with US, Caribbean, and African stars.

Mainly a jazz musician, Leopoldo is well versed in several genres - jazz, funk, R&B, Caribbean, Cuban, Brazilian, African, gospel and spirituals. He is a brilliant accompanist, a fascinating soloist, has a special melodic gift in his playing, and his performances sparkle with surprises, sophistication, grace, and exquisite timing.

Throughout his entire career Leopoldo has constantly developed, explored, and pursued new ideas and inspiration, maintaining his reputation as a world-class performer, never compromising on the authenticity of rhythms and styles according to his genuine deep knowledge and feeling.

At each of the Leopoldo Fleming Afro-Caribbean Jazz Ensemble's performances at venues and festivals, this band has truly enthused with intriguing rhythms and beautiful tunes (standards and originals), played with warm and deep artistic intensity, among other as a recurring event at the annual Staten Island Jazz Festival.

Leopoldo has been a mainstay with The New York Harlem Singers from its inception by music director Linda Twine, touring in Asia each December. Also as a continual tradition for decades, each winter Leopoldo has been working with The Shadow Box Theater in New York. Since 2007 he has been a member and appears on two albums of the all-stars Lou Caputo Not So Big Band.

Leopoldo has played, recorded and toured with a cornucopia of great artists such as Miriam Makeba for a number of years since 1965, Nina Simone off and on for 31 years, in 2008, -09 and -10 followed by Sing The Truth tours (a tribute to Nina Simone including original NS band members Al Schackman, Chris White, Paul Robinson and himself + on piano Geri Allen/Jeremy Berlin/Bob Dorough respectively, and featuring among others Dianne Reeves, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Patti Austin, Lizz Wright, Angélique Kidjo, Simone Kelly and Stacey Kent, going to Istanbul, 10 countries of Europe, Australia and New Zealand) - and more great artists such as Harry Belafonte, Eartha Kitt, Randy Weston (in big band format and a trio including Ron Carter and Abdul Malik), Sonny Stitt, Archie Shepp, Novella Nelson, Lonnie Liston Smith, Queen Esther Marrow, Leo Wright, Monica Zetterlund, Beaver Harris, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Richard Grove Holmes, Leon Thomas, Bob Cunningham, Kenny Barron, Horace Parlan, David Murray, Lou Caputo, Chris White, Symphony of the New World, The String Reunion, The World Bass Violin Ensemble, Boys' Choir of Harlem and a number of local world class musicians in Vienna, Copenhagen and other places of Europe.

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In the September 2007 issue of the All About Jazz-gazette, the Afro Indian Blues with Jim Pepper, Amina Claudine Myers, Anthony Cox, and Leopoldo Fleming is categorized an Unearthed Gem. Donald Elfman praises Leopoldo for showing true versatility and appealing accessibility.

In an AllAboutJazz.com review of the same album, Bill Siegel writes: ...On percussion, Leopoldo Fleming takes a flight with a solo that's absolute, total music - he plays the melody on his drums, not just a riff on the rhythm. You can almost hear the distant echo of Myers' singing below the drums. Don't be fooled towards the end of Fleming's solo. That's not him stepping aside to let Cox slip in a few bars on his bass. Those deep notes are Fleming's fingertips rubbing the skins of his congas.

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Primary Instrument



New York City


Master classes - Workshops - Private students


Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Leopoldo F. Fleming &...

Alessa Records Jazz & Art ALR 1023


Lou Caputo & Chris...

JazzCat 47 Records JC-1824


Documentary/DVD: Mama...

Matchbox Films


The Brawner Brothers:...

CD Baby 5637233221



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