About

ABOUT ME:

If I were a cocktail, I’d be called “Dark Night of the Soul” and I wouldn't get you drunk but would quickly sober you up or be like that slap Cher made famous while saying, “Snap out of it!”.

I’m not here to play it safe or stay on the surface, I live in the complexity of extremes and differences. As a transman I embody male and female, light and dark, loud and quiet. As a musician, I write fun and silly children’s music, dark ballads, raging punk anthems and binaural meditation tracks.

I’ve not been on a single trajectory, life has taken me on different adventures and they all inform my music and my core.

I thank my Mom and Dad, who immigrated to the U.S. from southern Italy in the 1950’s, for filling my Brooklyn childhood home with opera and drama, soul music and funk, folk music and 80’s pop icons. They were true lovers of “the good shit” and impressed on me that music is culture and culture is born of celebration and suffering and celebration and suffering are everywhere.

We’d drive past 14th street and the west side highway at 5 am to get to the family’s luncheonette. My young eyes saw a lot of pain but our food and community was so full of love that to this day anywhere in the garment district of NYC people still know the little joint called “Veronica’s”.

At the luncheonette, REM rehearsed upstairs and Dad would always come home with a story of his encounters. Jonathan “Sugarfoot” Moffet came in from a Michael Jackson recording and, of course, refused dessert, Booker T Jones came in for a cappuccino.

I was blessed with a drum set at age 12 after furiously practicing on gum rubber pads for 3 years and a marimba at age 16 when I decided to study music in college. I still play those instruments.

I spent my formative years playing in goth and punk bands and studied classical percussion at Brooklyn College under the amazing insights of Dr. Arnie Lang. I was still living as female then and was an anomaly in the percussion department but learned what I needed. Soon I pivoted to the downtown music scene of NY in the late 90’s and early 00’s for my connections.

As a musician and composer, I worked with Cathy Weiss, Jennifer Monson, DD Dorvillier, Sarah Johnson’s LAVA, Jennifer Miller’s Circus Amok, and Jenny Romaine’s Great Small Works. They had me performing at all the hot spots: PS 1, Dixon Place, BAM’s Fischer Theater, St Mark’s Church, Theater for the New City, Joe’s Pub, the Knitting Factory, Barbes, Zebulon and some clubs I can’t remember and don’t exist anymore.

I toured extensively with electronic and acoustic musical arts projects, playing live drums and percussion. Artists include: JD Samson’s MEN, Bitch and the Exciting Conclusion, Terry Dame’s Electric Junkyard Gamelan, Hanifah Wahlidah, Shirlala, The Tiptons Saxophone Quartet and my own project, Inner Princess that I crafted with the amazing character’s Becca Blackwell and T Thompson. I’ve performed in 48 of the United States and on 4 continents.

For sound design and multimedia projects I was awarded the 2012 and 2014 Puffin Foundation grant for my work on Mor Erlich’s LGBTQ children’s web series, Sez Me.

I was also given the Brooklyn Arts Council’s 2010 Individual Artist Grant for my project

“BROOKLYN BIKE BEAT”, An on-line archive of NY’s cultural drummers that manages to still reach folks even though I can’t get into the YouTube account.

My latest project has me stripped down to solo Marimba and voice, a place I wanted to begin many years before but wasn’t readyI call it LEONARDO DIAMANTE. The songbook I’ve crafted is connected to a larger media project that will manifest as a screenplay called “FEAST OF AMNESIA”.

I’m showcasing the songs in this quiet intimate way as I build support for the material.

It’s a shift from the loud raucous life of circus drummer and indie sidekick but it feels right as rain. If you’ve made it this far, I hope to meet you and share this work in person.

I’ve reestablished on the West Coast and currently reside in LA. Looking for connections in booking, publishing and scoring.

 

Many Thanks

Lee