Leonardo Emanuel Martins Cioglia was born in the modernist city of Brasília, Brazil, in 1971. A prominent composer, arranger, acoustic bassist and music educator, he carries forward his cultural heritage across the globe through the language of composed and live, real time improvised music. For the past 23 years he has been based in both the United States, in New York City since 1999, and Brazil, yet he has spent seasons in Canada, Hong Kong and Europe during various phases of his artistic career.
After a number of years as a sideman and as a member of collaborative musical projects, in 2008 Mr. Cioglia released his first album of original compositions, Contos. This work is comprised of a suite of 10 sonic pieces which disclose the stories of his extended family whose origins are within the state of Minas Gerais in the mountainous interior of Brazil. The musicians who accompanied the composer and brought this project to fruition were John Ellis: saxophones, Mike Moreno: guitars, Aaron Goldberg: piano, Antonio Sanchez: drums and Stefon Harris on vibraphone and marimba.
In the same year, through his longtime association with the music world of Minas Gerais, Leonardo released Contos in Brazil during the renowned Tudo É Jazz Festival in Ouro Preto, MG. Upon this engagement he was invited to participate in the Savassi Festival of Belo Horizonte, MG, where he put together the project Música de Mineiro: A Tribute to the Composers of Clube da Esquina. For this effort he was joined by Gabriel Grossi: harmonica, Rafael Barata: drums and percussion and his two longtime collaborators John Ellis and Mike Moreno. The repertoire included a few original compositions and re-arrangements of songs from the likes of Milton Nascimento, Toninho Horta, Tavinho Moura, Nelson Angelo and Flavio Venturini. In September 2013, the Savassi Festival held it’s first NY Edition where Mr. Cioglia, as a follow-up to the Belo Horizonte edition of 2010, created Música de Mineiro: An Homage to Milton Nascimento. For this he was joined by his working quintet, John, Mike, Aaron and this time Obed Calvaire on drums.
Recognized as one of the emerging talents in the music scene linked to jazz and its many accents Mr. Cioglia has participated in various projects with the cream of the crop of today’s jazz scene: Jimmy Cobb, Claudio Roditi, Duduka da Fonseca, Toninho Horta, Paulo Moura, Maucha Adnet, Vic Juris,Anat Cohen, Hendrik Meurkens, Cliff Korman, Donny McCaslin, Rob Bargad, Dave Pietro, George Schuller, Alain Mallet and Helio Alves to name a few. Some of the these projects yielded recordings such as Grammy Nominated album Braziliance x4 (Best Latin Jazz Album, 2010) by trumpet master Claudio Roditi and two albums with the delicate yet thunderous Brazilian drummer Duduka Da Fonseca and his quintet (Samba Jazz in Black & White, 2006 and Samba Jazz - Jazz Samba, 2009), just to highlight a few.
As an educator Leonardo has participated in various music camps, lectures and workshops around the United States and Brazil. In the US most notably with Dave Pietro’s group Embrace during the ensemble’s numerous tours around the country. Workshops were held in the following sites: University of Louisville, Indiana University, University of Wisconsin – La Crosse, Whitewater & Platteville, South Holland Suburban College, University of Illinois, Millikin University, Cleveland State University, Youngstown State University, Penn State – Erie and Mansfield University.
Most recently Mr. Cioglia taught during the 34° & 36° CIVEBRA (2012 & 2014) where he also performed with various Brazilian and international renowned musicians who participated in this important Pan-American music camp held annually in his home town of Brasília. In the fall of 2014 he held a lecture at NYU on the Music of Minas Gerais as part of the Savassi Festival NY Edition. In June 2014 he produced, performed and lectured in a series entitled, Jazz: A Retrospective, which consisted of four performances highlighting the works of some major artists who contributed their arrangements and compositions to the evolution of jazz and it’s noble history. The series began with New Directions: Birth of the Cool featuring the progressive arrangements by Gil Evans, Gerry Mulligan, John Carisi and John Lewis. Then a tribute was payed to the great pianist/composer Bill Evans in a second performance entitled Impressionism in Jazz: The Music of Bill Evans. On the third concert the music of two prominent jazz composers who used the profound significance of the blues as a springboard for many of their pieces was featured in Blue Roots: The Music of Charles Mingus & Oliver Nelson. For the last evening of the series the music of a few composers who wrote for the seminal group created by Horace Silver and Art Blakey were highlighted in a performance entitled The Messengers: Blakey’s Composers.
Mr. Cioglia graduated from Berklee College of Music in Professional Music (1996) and attained a Master’s degree from Emerson College in Boston in the area of Visual and Media Arts (2000) as well as from New York University in Jazz Studies with emphasis in theory & composition (2014). A restless student of life and the arts, he is constantly pursuing new ways to foment his curiosities.
Leonardo E. M. Cioglia is a talent that breaks boundaries with his music representing Brazilian art and culture around the world.