Gonçalo Leonardo was born in Caldas da Rainha, Portugal in 1983. He first studied violin at the Conservatório de Caldas da Rainha and at the Conservatório de Coimbra, the city where he got his bachelor in Musical Teaching for basic Education. Also in Coimbra, he started  playing the Acoustic Bass, and joined GEFAC, a group dedicated to Portuguese ethnography.

In 2006, Gonçalo began his Jazz studies at Hot Club of Lisbon, where he studied with Bernardo Moreira and  Nelson Cascais. At the same time, he took lessons with Demian Cabaud.

In 2012, he concluded his Jazz degree at Lisbon Superior School of Music, where he learned from some of the best Portuguese musicians such as Nelson Cascais, Pedro Moreira, João Moreira, Afonso Pais, Bruno Santos, André Fernandes, Sérgio Azevedo, among others.

He participated in several workshops and masterclasses, namely with Carlos Barretto, Carlos Bica, John Taylor, Lee Konitz, San Francisco Jazz Collective. He also joined the Lisbon Jazz Summer School, with Ben Street, Danilo Perez and others.

Leonardo lived in New York City during two periods: in 2011 and between 2015 and 2016, where he played with musicians like André Matos, Pete Rende, Yago Vazquez, Tommy Crane or Colin Stranahan, in several clubs in the city, such as Club Bonafide, Rockwood Music Hall or Silvana.

Also in New York, he took private lessons with David Wong, Ben Street, Drew Gress, Chris Lightcap and Aidan Carroll. He attended workshops and masterclasses with Christian McBride, Steve Coleman, Barry Harris and Maria Schneider and he also joined a summer program, School for Improvisational Music, in Brooklyn, with Ralph Alessi, Matt Michell, Tom Rainey, Chris Lightcap, Drew Gress, among others.

Gonçalo has been a member of several bands and ensembles including: Zé Soares Trio Nine Ways, Pensão Flor, Reunion Jazz Big Band, Orquestra Jorge Costa Pinto and Big Band do Municipio da Nazaré.

He performed in various concert halls in Portugal, such as Coliseu de Lisboa, CCB, Casa da Música (Porto), Hot Clube de Portugal, Teatro Académico Gil Vicente (Coimbra), Teatro Municipal da Guarda, Centro Cultural Vila Flor (Guimarães), CCC (Caldas da Rainha), Fórum Luísa Todi (Setúbal), ACERT (Tondela), Teatro de Vila Real, etc.

Nowadays, besides his quartet, he’s part of varied groups, with different musical styles, playing with musicians of the old and the new generation of the Portuguese jazz scene.

GONÇALO LEONARDO

BASSIST | COMPOSER