Leo Genovese

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Leo Genovese
Leo genovese.jpg
Background information
Born1979 (age 43–44)
Venado Tuerto, Argentina
Occupation(s)Musician, composer
Instrument(s)Piano, keyboards, other instruments
Years activeMid-2000s–present

Leonardo Genovese (born 1979) is an Argentine jazz pianist, keyboardist, and composer. He has played with The Mars Volta.

Life and career[edit]

Genovese was born in Venado Tuerto, Argentina, in 1979.[1] He began playing the piano at the age of 5 or 6, but became more interested in playing around ten years later.[1]

Genovese began studying music and accounting at the University of Rosario, but soon abandoned accountancy, and in 2001 he began studying at the Berklee College of Music.[1] He graduated in 2003.[1] His first album, Haiku II, was released the following year and was followed by Unlocked in 2008, but Genovese later talked them down, stating that they were "just a way to document where I was at the time".[1] From 2005 he recorded and toured internationally with bassist and vocalist Esperanza Spalding.[1]

A reviewer for The New York Times commented on Genovese's 2013 album, Seeds, that, "by refusing to privilege one historical style over another, he strengthens his claim as a polyglot".[2] Down Beat observed that Genovese's compositions for the album "share an exploratory nature, whether the new terrain in question is a marriage of electronic and acoustic sounds, an unlikely use of chromatic scaling or the successful juxtaposition of otherwise disparate ideas."[3]

Genovese won a Grammy Award for Best Improvised Jazz Solo for his solo on "Endangered Species" from Wayne Shorter's album Live at the Detroit Jazz Festival.[4]


An asterisk (*) indicates that the year is that of release.

As leader/co-leader[edit]

Year recorded Title Label Personnel/Notes
2003 Haikus II Fresh Sound New Talent With Nathan Blehar (tenor sax), Phil Grenadier (trumpet), Demian Cabaud (bass), Francisco Mela (drums)
2007* Planet Safety Soul Note Trio, with Dave Zinno (bass), Bob Gullotti (drums)
2008* Unlocked Ropeadope Trio, with Justin Purtill (bass), Joe Hunt (drums); Genovese also plays wood flute
2010 Seeds Palmetto With Dan Blake (saxes), John Lockwood (bass), Bob Gullotti (drums); Sergio Miranda (percussion); Esperanza Spalding (vocals), George Garzone (sax), Ricardo Vogt (guitar), Francisco Mela (drums) added on some tracks
2017* Trippeiros Self-Released Trio, with Demian Cabaud (bass), Francisco Mela (drums)

As sideman[edit]

Year recorded Leader Title Label
2007 Esperanza Spalding Esperanza Heads Up
2009 Esperanza Spalding Chamber Music Society Heads Up
2011 Esperanza Spalding Radio Music Society Heads Up
2011* Francisco Mela and Cuban Safari Tree of Life Half Note
2012* Michael Feinberg The Elvin Jones Project Sunnyside
2013* Pancho Molina and Elias Meister Open for Business EMPM
2014* Sara Serpa and André Matos Primavera Inner Circle Music
2014* Miguel Fernandez Afrikan Blues Sax On
2015* George Garzone Crescent Jody Jazz & Jazz Hang Records
2017* Oscar Feldman Gol Zoho
2017* George Spanos Reflections Self Produced
2017 Wayne Shorter Live at the Detroit Jazz Festival Candid
2020 Omar Rodríguez-López The Clouds Hill Tapes Clouds Hill
2021 Esperanza Spalding Songwrights Apothecary Lab Concord
2022 The Mars Volta The Mars Volta Clouds Hill
2022 Jason Palmer Con Alma SteepleChase


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Leonardo Genovese" (PDF). Den Entertainment. 5 February 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 February 2015. Retrieved 24 January 2023.
  2. ^ Chinen, Nate (August 12, 2013) "CDs From K. Michelle and Leo Genovese". The New York Times.
  3. ^ Odell, Jennifer (October 2013) "Leo Genovese – Seeds". Down Beat. p. 67.
  4. ^ "Leo Genovese". grammy.com. Retrieved February 8, 2023.