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Leo Sidran

I'm a multi instrumentalist musician, producer, arranger, composer, recording artist, and podcast host. I was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin, which is sometimes referred to as 70 square miles surrounded by reality. My father, Ben Sidran, another multifaceted music man, provided my early musical sustenance. My mother, a weaver and travel agent, provided texture and safe passage. I got my start writing songs professionally as a teenager when the Steve Miller Band recorded four of my songs for their 1993 Wide River album. My father was working with Miller at the time, which is how I made the connection, but even then, at the ripe old age of 15, I was interested in production


Article: Radio & Podcasts

Jake Lamar on his Jazz Noir novel 'Viper's Dream'

Read "Jake Lamar on his Jazz Noir novel 'Viper's Dream'" reviewed by Leo Sidran

Writer Jake Lamar talks about growing up in the Bronx, his lifelong love affair with writing, moving to France in the '90s, his career as a novelist, playwright, and cultural critic in Paris, and his new book Viper's Dream, a Jazz Noir crime novel set in the jazz world of Harlem between 1936 and 1961.


Article: Interview

Leo Sidran: Conversation Artist

Read "Leo Sidran: Conversation Artist" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

For music lovers, listening to music is often not only about the music. An album is much more than a vessel of beautiful chords, notes and lyrics. It offers mission statements, “how to" manuals, and blueprints for life strategies. Each song a trap-door it is impossible not to sneak into, in search for insights on how ...


Article: Radio & Podcasts

Ben Sidran at 80: This is your life

Read "Ben Sidran at 80: This is your life" reviewed by Leo Sidran

For the fifth consecutive year I interviewed my father, Ben Sidran on his birthday. This year he's turning 80 and I surprised him with reflections and anecdotes by friends and colleagues from throughout his career, including Jeff Greenfield, Boz Scaggs, Jann Wenner, Glyn Johns, Michael Cuscuna, Phil Upchurch, Georgie Fame, Gil Goldstein, Neil Tesser, Janis Siegel, ...


Article: Radio & Podcasts

Laila Biali is taking requests

Read "Laila Biali is taking requests" reviewed by Leo Sidran

Singer, pianist and songwriter Laila Biali recently released Your Requests (ACT Music), built around a collection of songs from the Great American Songbook that were requested by her fans. After a string of projects of her original songs and more contemporary covers, the album was a departure for her. After spending years living in ...


Article: Radio & Podcasts

Richie Cole, Geri Allen & Vince Ector

Read "Richie Cole, Geri Allen & Vince Ector" reviewed by Joe Dimino

We kick off the 813th Episode of Neon Jazz with drummer Vince Ector leading his Organatomy Trio Plus with a cut from Llive at The Side Door. From there, we hear from his mentor in the late Ralph Peterson. We follow “Bemsha Swing" with music from Leo Sidran, Ben Miller, Jeb Patton and Ellie Martin. In ...


Article: Radio & Podcasts

Scenes from the 2023 Montreal Jazz Festival

Read "Scenes from the 2023 Montreal Jazz Festival" reviewed by Leo Sidran

Article: Radio & Podcasts

Brandee Younger: I'm Done Running From The Harp Police

Read "Brandee Younger: I'm Done Running From The Harp Police" reviewed by Leo Sidran

When it comes to instruments that are not easily designed for improvising soloists, there is perhaps none more difficult to handle than the harp. And when it comes to contemporary jazz harpists, there is perhaps none more influential in this moment than Brandee Younger. From the very beginning, as a young music student growing ...


Article: Radio & Podcasts

Ben Wendel On 'The Unspeakable Truths' That Are Passed Between Musicians

Read "Ben Wendel On 'The Unspeakable Truths' That Are Passed Between Musicians" reviewed by Leo Sidran

For saxophonist Ben Wendel, the pandemic provided the space for him to develop his latest solo record, All One (Edition Records), a project that is both very solitary and very collaborative. It features a woodwind choir of saxophones and bassoons performed entirely by Ben, and then joined by special guests like singers Cecile McLorin Salvant and ...


Article: Radio & Podcasts

Vijay Iyer: How To Make Music Matter To People

Read "Vijay Iyer: How To Make Music Matter To People" reviewed by Leo Sidran

Pianist-composer Vijay Iyer has been described by The New York Times as a “social conscience, multimedia collaborator, system builder, rhapsodist, historical thinker and multicultural gateway." He has been praised by Pitchfork as “one of the best in the world at what he does," by the Los Angeles Weekly as “a boundless and deeply important young star," ...


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