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