Leo Appleyard is a London based guitarist who has performed all over the UK and Europe at venues and festivals including Ronnie Scotts, Pizza Express (Dean St), The Barbican, Royal Festival Hall, North Face Festival (Switzerland), The Blue Note (Dublin), London Jazz Festival, Bagra jazz festival (Italy), Oldenburg jazz festival (Germany) and many others.
Leo has studied music formally at The Royal Academy of Music – London, and the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, where he has received tuition from many notable musicians including Nick Smart, Phil Robson, Jez Franks and Jean Toussaint.
Over the past decade Leo has played/recorded with various artists -both in and out of the jazz idiom - including; Derek Nash, Jim Mullen, Duncan Eagles, Neil Yates, Max Luthert, Louie Palmer, Sam Leak, Paul Jordanous, Ted Carrasco, Simon Allen, Cat Delphi (BBC Radio 2 and o2 Islington) Gold of My own (Ronnie Scotts, The Barbican, North Face Festival, Larma Tree Fest), Mr Little’s Noisy Band, Will Gibson Ensemble.
In June 2012, after a life-long interest in radio, Leo produced his first radio show – “New Jazz in Birmingham: The Second City Scene” – broadcast on UK Jazz Radio -Youtube Link to Show
In August 2013, Leo recorded his debut album, “Pembroke Road” featuring special guest Neil Yates (Trumpet) alongside Duncan Eagles (Saxophone), Max Luthert (Bass), and Eric Ford (Drums). The album was released in September 2014 on the esteemed F-IRE records and features nine original compositions – honed over a ten year musical relationship with his band. Tracks from “Pembroke Road” were played on BBC3 Radio, Jazz FM and UK Jazz Radio as well as numerous online radio stations. The subsequent release tour of the UK visited venues across the country including The Verdict (Brighton), Pizza Express (Soho), Dempsey’s (Cardiff) and The Hive (Shrewsbury).
Leo is also a keen sound engineer and producer, having learnt the ropes in live sound as teenager, Leo now composes and produces from his recording studio based in Hampton, South West London.
Leo is a passionate teacher and educator and currently holds the position of Professor of Guitar at the Royal Military School of Music. In 2015 Leo was asked to re-write the contemporary guitar syllabus which is now taught all around the UK and internationally at army institutions.
“Appleyard could well be the most accomplished new UK jazz guitarist to come along since Femi Temowo…”
“One of the new crop of jazz musicians, making a mark on the scene…”
Julian Joseph, BBC Radio 3
“Leo is a fab guitarist & composer, definitely a real natural! This debut CD should firmly establish him as a new voice on the scene”
“Imaginative and rich compositions…plenty of scope for their virtuoso talents to shine…”
The Argus (Brighton)
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“Imaginative and beautifully crafted compositions and performance with a strong emphasis on great sound quality“John Etheridge
“Appleyard could well be the most accomplished new UK jazz guitarist to come along since Femi Temowo…”Marlbank