1979 (age 38)
Calling Leo Genovese a "pianist" just doesn't do him justice. Even the term "musician" is rather limiting. Sure, he's a great musician and a great jazz pianist but Leo's goals are more existential. Armed with 88 keys, Leo writes and performs music that feeds off of dissonance and unconventional improvisation all under the guise of "jazz." But what Leo really wants to do is exist between the notes, in a state of musical enlightenment.
Born and raised in Venado Tuerto, Argentina, Leo had an early musical influence through his mother who played classical piano. It must be in the genes; Leo soon found himself behind the keys, studying classical piano at the National University of Rosario. It wouldn't be until 2001 when the native-Argentinian would make his way to Berklee College of Music in Boston, Mass. where he studied with Danilo Perez, Joanne Brackeen, Frank Carlberg and Ed Tomassi.
Two years later, Genovese would graduate as a Professional Music Major and begin his career of performing, recording, writing and just about anything that involved music. He released his first solo record, Haikus II, in 2004 and will enter the Ropeadope family with his new record Unlocked which will feature not only Genovese but Joe Hunt and Justin Purtill (aka the Chromatic Guachos).
But what separates Leo's style of piano from what's already been done? Simple: his desire and ambition to achieve the zen (read: total consciousness) of music. You can hear it in Genovese's chromaticism-fueled compositions, that pull no punches. Eerie dissonant tones flirt with traditional jazz style creating something that only Genovese's mind could cook up.
"What's the difference between dissonance and consonance?" Genovese asked. "There is no difference for me. It's all the same. It's all beauty. It's all life. Titles, names, categories, definitions, rules and theories are mankind inventions. Those belong to the human world. I try to stay away from that and just keep moving forward. I believe in chromaticism."
It's clear that Genovese would rather have his music speak for itself; using those man-made conventions (which would include the words you're reading right now) would simply tarnish the musical/existential experience that Genovese has virtually perfected. Sit back, stop thinking and enter into Genovese's world, where the music can truly speak for itself.
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