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  The Brazilian Professor Luciano Leães Returns to New Orleans for Jazz Fest Season, Concerts, and Album Recording.

   As the Jazz Fest season approaches, Brazilian pianist Luciano Leães, names as "The Brazilian Professor" by Blues Matters! Magazine eagerly anticipates his return to the vibrant musical landscape of New Orleans.

In December 2023, Leães was the first Brazilian pianist to perform at the New Orleans Jazz Museum. His performance provided an exciting glimpse into his upcoming album.

In April of the same year, Leães was invited to be a guest on WWOZ's distinguished New Orleans Music Show, hosted by Missy Bowen. It was on this prestigious platform that he unveiled "FESSta Brasilis," a composition paying homage to the revered Professor Longhair. Produced in collaboration with Tom Worrell, the single featured the esteemed contributions of Grammy award-winning artist Tuti Rodrigues, alongside esteemed local talents Kirk Joseph, Lionel Batiste Jr, and John Fohl.

Leães' concert dates are still open, but he's scheduled to kick off the jazz fest at the Maple Leaf, along with artists such as Johnny Vidacovich (with George Porter Jr.) and The Rumble. He will also perform at Buffas, Bratz Y'all (with Dean Zucchero), and has been invited to be one of the attractions of the New Orleans Jazz Museum broadcast celebrating International Jazz Day.

In addition to his performances, Leães is poised to embark on a new creative journey, recording his next album at Rhythm Shack Studios under the guidance of acclaimed producer Jake Eckert. Collaborating alongside Leães are a stellar lineup of local musicians, including Terence Higgins, Cornell Williams, John Fohl, Tom Worrell, and other esteemed artists. This collaboration not only showcases the vibrant musical tapestry of New Orleans but also incorporates Leães' South American background, promising an album that blends diverse influences seamlessly. Notably, Tom Worrell joins Leães as a partner in crafting some of the compositions, adding another layer of depth to the project.

"I absolutely love playing with this guy! Luciano Leães is the real deal. His swinging, funky groove is too deep to measure. I’ve played with some of the best (Prof. Longhair, James C. Booker) and I can tell you he brings

all of the passion and chops to his performances that they did."
Bass Player and New Orleans Music Wizard
(James Booker, Professor Longhair, Radiators, among others)

ABOUT LUCIANO LEÃES... (Jake Eckert, Lionel Batiste, Tom Worell)

   Since his first visit in 2015, Leães has been drawn to New Orleans, the birthplace of many of his musical idols and the source of much of the music that has influenced him since childhood. Listening to vinyl records and tapes and playing the piano in his grandparents' home in Porto Alegre - deep south Brazil, played a significant role in shaping his musical journey. Central to this journey is the pilgrimage to the former home of his idol, Professor Longhair. For Leães, Fess is an essential element in his piano upbringing, blending his Brazilian and South American musical heritage with the rhythms of blues, jazz, and R&B synonymous with New Orleans.

"Luciano Leães really knocked out the musically astute full house at this year’s Booker Birthday Bash (...) His ability to honor Booker’s brilliance while putting his own stamp on the music was impressive, and his easy manner with the audience very appealing."

Award-Winning Radio Producer, Host, and Jazz Critic

   Upon arriving at Professor Longhair's former residence, Leães encountered a serendipitous moment when he was greeted by Pat Byrd, Longhair's daughter. This encounter led to a deep friendship and opened a portal connecting Leães' musical universe with that of New Orleans. In subsequent years, Leães was invited to be one of the special guests to play at Professor Longhair's induction into the Louisiana Hall of Fame in 2016 at Lil' Gem. He also collaborated with Carlo Ditta on the release of a posthumous Fess album (Live in Chicago) at Louisiana Music Factory, contributing his musical talents on the piano. Additionally, over the past five years, Leães has been an integral part of the Mo Fess band, a tribute band to Professor Longhair with original members who played with the iconic pianist, performing at Jazz Fest, Tipitina's, and more.


"What I remember about Luciano Leães is that he is not an atypical presence.

Many have watched him play here [in New Orleans]. When Luciano invokes

my father's legacy, he is one of the best pianists to appear in this role."
Professor Longhair's Daughter


   Over the years, Leães has performed with esteemed musicians such as Alfred Uganda, Reggie Scanlan, Tom Worrell, Lionel Batiste Jr, and Kirk Joseph, among others. He has become a regular fixture at the New Orleans Jazz Fest Kick-Off at Maple Leaf Bar, where he opens the night playing at the James Booker Back piano sessions. In the last years Leaes is also a traditional presence on James Booker and Professor Longhair tribute concerts on their birthday parties at Maple Leaf and Tipitina's. This is like a dream come true for a Brazilian pianist to be part of such special moments of both of their main piano inspirations.


"Luciano is one of these amazing cats who plays blues, R&B, and New Orleans-style

keyboards so well and with so much soul that after you hear him, you’ll want to do

one of two things: (1) quit, or (2) go practice and try like hell to catch up.

One of the baddest cats out there on the scene, end of story..."
Chuck Berry's Piano Player for over 20 years

As Luciano Leães prepares for another Jazz Fest season, he reflects on the serendipitous journey that has unfolded in the streets of New Orleans—a tale of unconditional love for a city that continues to inspire him. The story is far from over, with many chapters yet to be written.


"Extraordinary artists do not appear overnight. I believe people will remember L

uciano Leães for a long time. Musically, the Brazilian musician is at the crossroads

where past, present, and future meet."
Nashville Producer - Muddy Waters, Leon Russel

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