The Leonard Washingtons
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The Leonard Washingtons

Terre Haute, Indiana, United States | SELF

Terre Haute, Indiana, United States | SELF
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"On The Rise - The Leonard Washingtons"

With a raw mix of hip-hop based funk, jazz harmonies, and a tendency to reference a highly eclectic mix of influences, The Leonard Washingtons are a group sure to put the boogie in your shoes.

(Little Miss Massey featured on their sampler cd for the issue) - Relix March 2012 Issue

"Concert Review: The Leonard Washingtons @ The Downtown [04/23/2011]"

Last night I made the short trip from Fort Wayne, IN down to Warsaw to catch a concert by rising Midwest talent The Leonard Washingtons. Featuring a collective of musicians able to improvise and jam without hesitation, last night’s show was a great concert showcasing the immense amount of talent that The Leonard Washingtons have. While the entire band was not able to make it, they were still able to use a 5-person lineup to keep the bar rocking all night long. With an archive of songs ranging from upbeat originals to reconstructed covers, The Leonard Washingtons have the ability to keep the crowd moving regardless of the type of music they are playinig. Playing multiple extended sets lasting a couple of hours, patrons of The Downtown were treated to a non-stop rush of great music to lively up their Saturday night. They played all of my favorite songs, including “Cricket” which you can watch a video of below, as well as incredible covers from the likes of Sublime, Pink Floyd, and The Band just to name a few. Fresh off the release of The Leonard Washingtons EP (Review coming soon!), the band is currently scheduling to embark on across the Midwest in the coming months spreading their fresh sound to anyone with ears to listen. Be sure to check out more pictures from the concert [HERE] and stay up to date with The Leonard Washingtons via their Facebook Page and Website as well. There’s a good chance they will be in a town near you, and they put on an incredible show not worth missing, so go and check them out! - - Jon Kopecky

"The Leonard Washingtons (Album Review)"

"Think the solo songs of Steely Dan's Donald Fagen meets The Roots, sung by a funkier John Mayer channeling Steve Winwood. A moment later, it's a hoarser Jack Johnson fronting the Meters, covering a mash-up of Dave Brubeck, Isaac Hayes and Phish." - Terre Haute Living Magazine


Honest Drangle's Wino Hat (LP) - released Sept. 21, 2012
2011 Live Summer Sampler Vol. 1 - released: Summer 2011
Introducing The Leonard Washingtons (EP) - released: Spring 2010



With a constantly evolving pop eclecticism, The Leonard Washingtons present an ensemble sound brimming with virtuosity and rhythmic mastery while avoiding the pretension of their oft apparent jazz roots. Few groups straddle the bounds of dinner music, angsty breakup songs, and progressive funk quite as eloquently as The Leonards do, but it's in that mix of the bizarre and seemingly unrelated that the band find inspiration: whether it's the transformation of a jazz standard into a drum and bass raga or a 20 minute arrangement of The Beatles, Warren G, and a dubbed out Pink Floyd, nothing is off limits or unrelatable.

Leading the Leonards on their quest towards musical enlightenment is lead vocalist, pianist, and head songwriter Will Foraker. Will is no stranger to entertaining strangers: he's spent the past 3 years as a featured solo performer on Celebrity Cruise Lines, spending his winters traveling the globe and spreading the Leonard's sounds from Marseilles, France to Miyazaki, Japan. Leading the harmony department from the low end is bassist and grade school music educator Eric Schatz. Schatz's almost encyclopedic knowledge of harmonic theory gives the Leonards the dense but intuitive chord shapings that bring new life to the well worn territories in which the Leonards tread. Establishing shape, dynamics, and the pocket is drummer and mechanical engineer Al Doti. Al's focus on groove and texture steers away from the overcomplicated and fill oriented approach of many of his contemporaries while maintaining a high level of energy and fuel for the Leonard's collective fire on stage. Rounding out the rhythm section is the Leonard's newest addition on Guitar, Tim Doyle. Tim's penchant for the progressive and sheer performance virtuosity pushed the Leonards' live show to the upper echelons of funkiness within weeks of his arrival in Terre Haute, the Leonard's home base. Saving the best for last, the Leonard's horn section, comprised of Alex Sperellis, Natalie Lande, and Mike Nearpass, is the frozen icing on the proverbial ice cream cake. Alex, lead graphic designer, tenor saxophonist, and founding member of the Washingtons, brings the group's ethos to life through his laid back, almost lyrical sax stylings and clean, captivating designs. Natalie, a graduating senior jazz performance major at the University of Illinois, plays Alto Saxophone with such genuine joy and technical ability that most listeners and jazz critics alike question the possibility of an underlying heroin addiction. Mike, a jazz performance graduate student at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music under the legendary composer and educator David Baker, is lightyears beyond the Leonards. Mike should be doing something else with a lot more clout behind it for a lot more money. But instead, he plays with The Leonard Washingtons because it's hard to fake pure musical ecstasy.