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Take Five With Leon De Vose, II

AAJ Staff By

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Meet Leon De Vose, II:


Who is Leon?

He is an explorer. He is an innovator. He is unconventional.

Leon learned congas from his father, Leon, Sr., who was the lead drummer for the Essex County African Dance Society. The traditional African, Afro-Cuban and Latin jazz rhythms and sounds would forever inform his artistry. His mother, Delores, possessed of an incredible range, would help to define the melodic style that would become his sound.

Leon's dream of learning saxophone would be realized when he began taking formal lessons with (now Dr.) Bill Phipps in 1974. His first solo would be to the late Freddie Hubbard's "Little Sunflower."

He would go on to learn from others, perform in some of the most prominent venues in the area. These have included Newark's Symphony Hall, the Jacob Javitts building and the Empire State Building in New York City.

Leon is now working with his band, Brick City Legacy. Together, they are working on the upcoming release of their debut CD.


Alto sax, soprano sax, congas, bongos, djimbe, digital drums.

Teachers and/or influences?

Teachers: Delores De Vose, Leon De Vose,Sr., Dr. Bill Phipps, Jesse Morrison, Jesse Anderson, Howard "Duke" Anderson, Louines Louines.

Influences: Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Earth Wind & Fire, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Andrae Crouch, Take 6, Stevie Wonder, Kenny Garrett, John Coltrane.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...

I found that I could play congas at around eight years old.

At age 10 I saw a clip of Cannonball Adderley performing "Mercy Mercy Mercy."


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