Jay Leonhart Trio

Jay Leonhart Trio

 New York City, New York, USA

Jay Leonhart p[lays the bass violin and sings his own songs in a musical and very humorous manner.


Jay Leonhart found himself sitting next to Leonard Bernstein in first class on TWA as they both flew to Los Angeles. After the shock and awe wore off (Jay's, not Lenny's) the two engaged in a wonderful cross country conversation that covered every possible topic. A few months later Jay wrote "Me and Lenny" which has since become known by jazz fans worldwide. Tony Bennett has even told Jay that "Me and Lenny" is Jay's "San Francisco" and that he should perform it everywhere he goes.

When Jay appeared on David Letterman, Paul Schaeffer wanted to know more of the juicy Lenny details, hoping for an Inquirer scoop. But Jay simply referred him to the song. Such a classy guy.

Jay Leonhart has played the bass violin since he was thirteen years old and played for most of the music icons of the 20th century, and is now working on those of the 21st century. He has been recognized in countless jazz polls and has received numerous recording industry awards.

He has performed with a large number of famous pop groups, and jazz singers, from Judy Garland to Mel Torme. Steely Dan to Sting, Maureen McGovern to Michael Feinstein, James Taylor to Carly Simon.

And many inbetween.

Jay has performed at the White House many times and looks forward to returning to The White House after a current six year respite (two to go, no doubt).

For why Jay is not a current White House favorite See "Nukular" on youtube:

But Jay is primarily a humorous and insightful and very original songwriter.

A promotional copy of "The Bass Lesson" DVD can be mailed or viewed at jayleonhart.com

Long Bio of Jay leonhart
Radio personality Jonathan Schwartz likes to say that Jay Leonhart writes songs about nothing, but what Jay actually does is write songs about everything--what he sees, does, thinks, imagines, or swears that he saw--and this makes for some fascinating and often very funny songs.

Combined with his bass violin virtuosity and his jazz expertise, Jay Leonhart's songs end up being hip, humorous, and moving commentaries on our lives and times.

Jay Leonhart spent his teenage years learning to play the bass and listening to his musical hero, the legendary bassist Ray Brown.

Song writing was not really a priority in those early years.

But he was always writing poems.

As he grew older he started putting his poems to music and he has now written about three hundred songs and has recorded seven albums of his music.

Jay's songs are unlike any other songs around today.

Many are very unique and personal insights into the life of a bass player and road musician.

Other's are points of view on the human condition.

Yet they are all songs we relate to.

His melodies have been compared to Hoagy Carmichael's and his lyrics to something Johnny Mercer might have cooked up if he'd been a bass player.

Jay has also collaborated on songs with other composers, like Tommy Flanagan, Jeff Clayton, and Ray Brown.

Over the last forty years, Jay has played the bass for most of the legendary singers and jazz musicians of our time-from Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra to Sting and James Taylor--Jim Hall and Marian McPartland to Bill Charlap and Branford Marsalis --Judy Garland and Peggy Lee to Carly Simon and Bette Midler.

In fact there are very few singers and jazz musicians Jay Leonhart has not played with.

He has been named the Most Valuable Bassist in the recording world three times by the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences.

In the meantime Jay has been performing his songs in concert halls and jazz clubs around the world for the last twenty five years.

In addition he has recorded thousand of commercials and hundreds of albums for others.

He has gotten the reputation of being both a fine bassist and a very entertaining performer.

Beside his world wide engagements, Jay managed to perform his own songs every Sunday at the Blue Note for ten years before starting to write his own show, The Bass lesson" which will be opening in New York in 2002.

Jay Leonhart has received his share of rave reviews, and one of his favorite quotes comes from critic Leonard Feather who writes that: " Jay Leonhart is the wittiest composer to come along since Dave Frishberg".

Jay Leonhart CD's: Salamander Pie - Digital Music Products (DMP) There's Gonnna Be Trouble - Sunnyside Records The Double Cross - Sunnyside Records Life Out on the Road - Prestige Records Two Lane Highways - Prestige Records Jay Leonhart with His Friends at Fat Tuesdays - DRG Records Galaxies and Planets - Sons of Sound Recordings Great Duets - Chiaroscuro 15 plays Monk - Sunnyside REcords


Barbie Dolls (from Nukular Tulips)

Written By: Jay Leonhart

Barbie Dolls

The people who make Barbie Dolls are furious, at
Artists who use Barbie Dolls for sport. So they’re
suing all these ne’er-do-wells for defamation of  character
And taking them to court.

They’ve started suing artists for depicting Barbie as a Brainless
Bimbo, a wanton little tart. They’ve 
started suing artists for trying to ruin her reputation,
with their so called works of art.

Barbie in a hot dog roll’s insulting,
This is no way to treat a star.
Barbie in an enchilada really is not funny, and
Barbie in a blender goes too far,

Barbie is an icon, a heroine, a legend,
She plays a very important role, She
Must not be depicted nude and handcuffed in her little bath tub,
Floating in a toilet bowl. 

Barbie and her boyfriend Ken are Spltsville,
Rumors and innuendo fly, To-
Gether forty years yet never married,
People wonder why. 

Frankly Ken’s become a liability 
Lots of people think he may be gay,
A little bit too charming , a little bit too  dashing, a
Lot like Errol Flynn in his own way.

The people who make Barbie Dolls are furious, They're going to
Bring these so called "artists" to their knees. And they
Really are not happy about Barbie on a fondue fork,
Soon to be dipped in molten cheese.

The People who make Barbie Dolls seek vengeance 
They want these travesties corrected. But
with the odd anatomy they years ago bestowed upon her,
Such things might be expected.

And the 
courts so far have not been sympathetic, the
Barbie folks have yet to win a case, the
Judges and the juries seem to feel that Barbie on a fondue fork,
May somehow have its place.

The courts have been surprisingly consistent,
The Barbie people can not seem to win,
Everybody seems to feel that Barbie in a blender, is
Where the First Amendment may begin. 


Written By: Jay Leonhart


At first I thought I knew what I was doing,
But then I found out I was wrong. In
Spite of what I thought was right the
World has shown me other wise
And so I wrote this song.

For you
See I always thought the word was nuclear, as in
Nuclear power or nuclear conflagration.
But now I’ve learned that the word is really nukular, yes
Nukular is the proper pronunciation.

It’s nukular, nukular, n-u-k-u-l-a-r
Say it and you’ll quickly come to love it.
It’s nukular, nukular, join the rest of America,
Show the world you’re stupid and proud of it.

Nukular has two U sounds that roll right off the tongue,
Nukular is macho and athletic. While
Nuclear is feminine, weak, and far too gentle,
Nuclear is passive and pathetic,

Nuclear’s too complicated it sounds suspiciously like French,
It’s just too meek and humble. But
Nukular is powerful it has a certain jene se qua,
Nukular is rough and ready to rumble.

It’s nukular nukular and while it might seem peculular,
I now say nukular with no fear. But
How the pronunciation went from nuclear to nukular,
Still remains a bit unkular.

OK perhaps I’m being nasty,
Being ugly and only getting ugular, but
With the the dumbing down of America today, I
Feel the need to go right for the jugliar.

It’s Nukular Nukular that’s the way you say it, the
Other way’s too difficult and taxing,
Nukular nukular it rolls right off the toungue,
With nukular the uvula’s relaxing

It’s nukular, nukular, n-u-k-u-l-a-r
Say it and you’ll quickly come to love it.
It’s nukular, nukular, join the rest of America,
Show the world you’re stupid and proud of it.

Missing Nixon

Written By: Jay Leonhart

Missing Nixon

I’m starting to miss old Richard Milhaus Nixon, with his
Wild and wacky, wonderful Watergate ways. Oh
Wasn’t he a trip with that sweaty upper lip,
Nervous little smile and shifty gaze?  But

But Milhaus was a man of real intelligence, 
Mixed in with delicious paranoia, These 
Days we have an ignoramus who only knows he's right,
A tendency that can downright destroy ya'.

Richard Milhaus knew how to lie to us,
In a manner that we could believe. Still we
Threw him out of office for the flimsiest of reasons,
A little plot to clumsy to conceive.

Nowadays we have an errant school boy for our leader,
A goof ball who does not have a clue,
Smiling at anything, so totally inappropriate,
Makes me long for Milhous strange but true!

The rest of the world thinks we are going crazy,
They think that we have lost our minds,
They didn’t feel that way when we had Richard Milhous,
Ah the irony one finds.

I’m neither a liberal nor a conservative. 
I want anything that's really good,
Right now I miss old Richard Milhaus Nixon,
More than I ever thought I could.

Home From War

Written By: Jay leonhart

Home From War

You see I'd never actually seen this scene for real before, a
Husband, a father, coming home from a war.
Rich folks in New York avoid that kind of thing,
And all the pain that it can bring.

But here in Pensacola people go on off to war,
Military families as in decades gone before, most
Naval aviators do return, though harm stands in their way,
I saw this today.

A young woman and little daughter down in baggage claim,
Dressed for church so beautiful, the woman's only aim, to
Greet her husband home from war, so many months apart,
The two girls hope to reach their soldier's heart.

So many little questions and problems underneath,
Shielded by the warm homecoming, the sword inside its sheath.
Separation problems, doubts and major stresses,
Mom an daughter greet their soldier in their Sunday dresses.

Military life is hardship, pain, an overwhelming bother. A
Two year old in yellow who does not recognize her father,
Everybody's slightly shocked as they reunite,
The atmosphere is hardly light.

Still the girls are beautiful to welcome daddy home,
Soldiers sent to conquer since the days of Rome.
Dressed as they might for Easter but on a Friday afternoon,
Something I have never seen that will not leave me soon.

The daughter maybe two years old a vision in bright yellow,
You can see the tension the scene is

So out of place in baggage claim but a soldier has come home,
Hs wife has dressed to greet him in the military tradition.

Waiting to greet her husband returning from Iraq,
With their beautiful little girl, finally he's back.

She has dressed to welcome him, she's beautiful as can be,
A baggage claim homecoming, quite beautiful to see.

show him that they're there,
their family pride,
The difficulty can not be denied.

I can feel the tension bewilderment and joy,
Sense the things that war can so destroy.

How do families do it, military wives unique,
Husbands gone they stay alive, going week to week.

So strange and beautiful to see,

Watching Trains

Written By: Jay leonhart

Watching Trains

I find there’s something beautiful about just watching trains,
These please me in a mysterious kind of way, but I
Know I love to see a train making its way along
Doing what it’s meant to do each day.

I love to see a train heading down it its own particular path,
Trains simply do not wander ‘round,
Trains go where they’re supposed to go and if they don’t it’s bad,
But that happens rarely we have found.

I love to watch a train as it slowly makes its way, I’ll
Stop to watch it lumbering along,
Predictable, reliable, and almost imperturbable,
Steady, gentle, and so strong.

Filled with people going somewhere that they want to get to,
The train will surely get them there,
Rolling through the hills and dales, tunnels and the marshes,
With patience, and with care.

I get a quiet peaceful feeling when I see a train go by,
I enjoy its steady pace.
I watch it and I get a sense of quiet, strength and fortitude,
For a moment life falls into place.

There’s nothing I can do to change it’s chosen destination,
It will go where it will go.
As I get older I love to watch a train go by,
Why I’m still not sure I know.

I get a sense of kinship, friendship, beautiful Americana,
As a touch of nostalgia settles in,
Maybe as you get older simple things start meaning more,
I had hoped that might begin.


Jay Leonhart CDs include:
All Available on CDBaby

"The Bass Lesson" DVD Chancellor Music
"Salamander Pie" - Digital Music Products (DMP)
"There's Gonnna Be Trouble" - Sunnyside Records "The Double Cross" - Sunnyside Records
"Life Out on the Road - Chancellor Music Label
"Two Lane Highways" - Chancellor Music Label
"Jay Leonhart with His Friends at Fat Tuesdays" - DRG Records
"Galaxies and Planets" - Sons of Sound Recordings "Great Duets" - Chiaroscuro
"15 Plays Monk" - Jay Leonhart and Peter Bernstein
"This Rhythm on My Mind" Jay Leonhart and Wycliffe Gordon

Set List

It's Impossible To Sing and Play The Bass
Middle Ages
Me and Lenny
Ban Bass Blues
Galaxies and Planets
The German Shepherd
Bass Aboard a Plane
The Hindenburg
Robert Frost
She's Mean
Don't You Wish
Mr. Potato Head

Freud and The Irish
God Fearing Boy
Life Out on the Road
Playboy Club
Me and Margarita
Society Music
Lonely Cowboy
Double Parking
Goodbye Miami
The Rat
Lonely Cowboy
They're Coming To Get Me
Sometimes I Think
Very Few
Let The Flower Grow
Barbie Dolls
When I was A Little Boy
Uncle Jim
Wonder Bra
Mr. Potato Head