Leo Gandelman

Leo Gandelman

 Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, BRA

Leo Gandelman has all but defined a style that, while unmistakably Brazilian at the core, masterfully blends carefully selected portions of jazz, funk, R&B and pop to create an effervescent new hybrid that shimmers with tropical passion as it burns with the urban energy of a new global music language.


Leo Gandelman has all but defined a style that, while unmistakably Brazilian at the core, masterfully blends carefully selected portions of jazz, funk, R&B and pop to create an effervescent new hybrid that shimmers with tropical passion as it burns with the urban energy of a new global music language. In a country famed for an abundance of world class musical talent, Gandelman has earned rare distinction for an instrumentalist, recording some of the best selling instrumental albums in the history of Brazilian popular culture. Voted Brazils Most Popular Instrumentalist for 15 years in a row by Jornal do Brasil, one of the most important newspapers in Brazil, his sense and feel for many different styles of music has led him to add his trademark sound to over 600 albums.

Saxophonist, producer, composer and arranger, music has always been present in Leo Gandelman's life. Son of a classic pianist and a conductor, at 15 years old he was already a Soloist with the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra. Besides having a solid classical training, he studied Jazz at Berklee College of Music in Boston, returning to Brazil in 1979 to start his professional career.

His music is inspired especially by MPB (Brazilian Popular Music) and Jazz, and always composed in a very versatile and inventive way.

Leo has already released 12 solo albums besides 7 compilations having already sold more than 500.000 records, and is today recognized as an Icon in his segment. His music was also released with great success in the United States, where Leo has lived and developed a prominent career within the last decade, including six sold out seasons at the Blue Note, in New York. During this period, he also joined the band “Masters of Groove”, formed by the legendaries Bernard Purdie, Grant Green and Rueben Wilson. Leo returned to his roots in classical music during his last three years in NY, participating as a soloist in the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra at the Lincoln Center and in Central Park in 2001. He also played as a soloist in the OSESP (São Paulo Symphony Orchestra) conducted by John Neschling, Ribeirão Preto Symphony Orchestra, and Bahia Symphony Orchestra among others, playing Villa Lobos' Fantasy to Soprano Sax and Orchestra as well as the Concertino to Alto Sax, by Radames Gnatalli.

In 2004 Leo was invited to play the Independence Day Concert to President Lula and authorities in Brasilia. Leo Gandelman was also host of the TV shows "Momento Jazz" (Jazz Moment), at Multishow channel - on Globosat/Net and The Free Jazz In Concert at Manchete TV. Since October 2009 Leo hosts a radio show called "Instrumental MPB" at MPB FM.

Recently Leo won two prices as best Film Score with the soundtrack of the movie “ Garrincha, A Estrela Solitária “. Producing soundtracks is another Leo’s passion in music.

In 2008 Leo released the DVD: “Sabe Você", with one of the best Brazilian artists as guests like Milton Nascimento, Chico Buarque, Caetano Veloso, Ney Matogrosso, Luis Melodia and Leila Pinheiro among others. The DVD is a tribute to Brazilian Ballads.

In 2009 Leo participated in the "Moscow City Jazz Festival" and was also in Caracas where under the Regency of Issac Karabitchevsky, he was a soloist for the "Young Orchestra of Caracas".

In 2010 Leo travelled around Spain with Pianist Maria Teresa Madeira and around Russia and Italy with his quartet, on top of participating in a lot of jazz festivals around Brazil.

At the moment Leo is dedicating himself to the release of his independent label "Saxsamba" and the parallel release of his new album "Origins" a Concert for Sax and Piano, which marks his return to his roots – classical music.


- All his albuns.
- "Virgem" - Marina Lima.
- "Jogo de Ilusões" - Nico Rezende.
- "Plural" - Gal Costa.
- "Berimbaum" - Paula Morelembaum.

Tv and Cinema

- Soundtrack of "O Engenho de Zé Lins" - Wladimir Carvalho.
- Soundtrack of "Vidas Opostas" - TV Record.
- Presenter of the tv show "Momento Jazz", Multishow (Globosat/Net).
- Soundtrack of the movie "Estrela Solitária", about the life of Garrincha – still working on it.
- Soundtrack of "Moacyr" - Walter Carvalho.
- Soundtrack of the TV series "Globo Ecologia".
- Interpreter of the theme song of the TV show Fantástico (Rede Globo).
- Movies soundtracks: Pure Juice, Rádio Pirata and Banana is my Business.
- Music themes for soap operas and series at Rede Globo.
- Presenter of the weekly show "Free Jazz In Concert", Rede Manchete.
- Soundtrack of the movie "Budapeste".

Main Festivals

- Londrina Festival.
- Goyaz Festival.
- Domingos Martins Festival.
- Guaramiranga Festival.
- Havana Jazz Festival.
- Montreaux Jazz Festival.
- Free Jazz Festival.
- Hollywood Rock Fest (Special guest at Living Colours show).
- Hollywood Rock Festival (Convidado especial de Rita Lee – show de abertura para os Rolling Stones).
- Several participations in different events, tours and seasons at theat


Origens (2010) Saxsamba
Sabe Você | DVD & CD (2008) EMI
Radamés e o Sax (2006) Biscoito Fino
Lounjazz (2005) Rob Digital
Leo Gandelman Live | DVD & CD (2002) EMI
Brazilian Soul (1999) Dubas/Universal
Pérolas Negras (1997)
Made In Rio (1993) PolyGram
Visões (1991) PolyGram
Solar (1990) PolyGram
Western World (1989) PolyGram
Leo Gandelman (1987) PolyGram


Sem Limite (2001) Universal
Millenium - 20 Grandes Sucessos de Leo Gandelman (1999)
The Best Of Leo Gandelman (1998)
Personalidade (1994) PolyGram
Minha História - Sucessos de Leo Gandelman (1994) PolyGram

Special Projects

Centenário de Radamés Gnatalli - Orquestra Petrobrás Sinfônica - Isaac Karabtchevsky (2006) Radio MEC
Primeiro Brasil Sinfônico - Leo Gandelman & Silvio Barbato (1999)

Set List

Popular Set List

Aos Pés da Cruz (Marino Pinto/Zé da Zilda)
Sensível (Pixinguinha)
Pra Machucar Meu Coração (Ary Barroso)
Futuros Amantes (Chico Buarque)
Chove Lá Fora (Tito Madi)
Coração Vagabundo (Caetano Veloso)
Por Causa de Você (Dolores Duran/Tom Jobim)
Amargura (Radamés Gnattali)
Sabe Você (Carlos Lyra/Vinicius de Moraes)
Só Por Amor (Baden Powell)
Chuva (Durval Ferreira)
Solar (Leo Gandelman/William Magalhães)
Furuvude (Leo Gandelman/William Magalhães)
Bossa Rara (Leo Gandelman/William Magalhães/Juliano Zanoni)
As rosas não falam (Cartola)
Lamentos (Pixinguinha)
Luiza (Tom Jobim)
Na Baixa do Sapateiro (Ary Barroso)
Canto de Ossanha (Baden Powell e Vinicius de Morais)
Tico Tico (Zequinha de Abreu)
Maracatu Atômico (Jorge Mautner/Nelson Jacobina)

Classical Set List

Fantasia (Villa Lobos)
Melodia Sentimental (Villa Lobos)
Trenzinho Caipira (Villa Lobos)
Canto do Cisne Negro (Villa Lobos)
Bate Papo (Radamés Gnatalli)
Brasiliana (Radamés Gnatall