LEON ANDERSON, JR., Associate Professor and Director of Jazz Studies, joined the Florida State University faculty in 1998. His musical experience includes that of a classical and jazz percussionist, educator, clinician, and composer. Mr. Anderson received the B.A. degree in Music Education at Louisiana Tech University and in 1996 completed the M.A. degree in Percussion Performance at Southeastern Louisiana University. His mentors have included Ellis Marsalis and Victor Goines of the New Orleans jazz scene. Mr. Anderson currently teaches drum set, jazz ensembles, and rhythm section methods at the FSU College of Music.
In 1997 Mr. Anderson was a featured soloist with The Marcus Roberts Trio, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl, and at the “Great Saxophone Legends” concert at the Jacksonville Jazz Festival. As a soloist he has also performed with the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. His most recent engagements include performances with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra and the National Orchestra de France, conducted by Seiji Ozawa. His professional recordings include Victor Goines’ Joe’s Blues (1998), To Those We Love So Dearly (1999), and Sunrise to Midnight (2000); Marcus Roberts’ Cole After Midnight Vol. I, (1998); Five By Design’s Club Swing (2001); Richie Summa’s Tear It Down (2001); and Etienne Charles’ Culture Shock (2006). His professional collaborations include performances with numerous artists: David Sanchez, Red Holloway, Donald Brown, Wynton Marsalis, Mike Wolf, Nathen Page, Allan Harris, Stephanie Nakasien, Phyllis Hyman, Barry Greene, Dianne Reeves, Harold Batiste, Donald Harrison, Mary Stallings, Judy Collins, Wessell Anderson, Wycliffe Gordon, Kent Jordan, Oliver Lake, James Moody, Deborah Brown, Rufus Reid, Henry Mancini, Art Farmer, Jason Marsalis, and the Temptations, to name only a few.
Mr. Anderson currently performs and tours internationally with Marsalis, Goines, Walter Payton and the Snapbean Band, and the Third Coast Jazz Quintet. In addition to these ensembles, he has also performed at the International Association of Jazz Education Conference with Bunky Green, Ellis Maraslis and the New Orleans Jazz All-Stars, and has served as an artist/clinician for several jazz festivals in the United States, including the Bill Evans Jazz Festival, Savannah Music Festival, Loyola University (New Orleans) Jazz Festival, Governor’s Honors Jazz Camp, Broward County All-City Jazz Ensemble, the “Jazz in the Schools” program in Jacksonville, FL, and serves as director for the FSU High School Jazz Festival. His festival commitments outside the United States are numerous and include the Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, Italy, the Inglostadt Jazztage, in Inglostadt, Bavaria, the Switzerland Jazz Festival in Basel, Switzerland, and the North Sea Jazz Festival. Anderson has also been featured in a review of the jazz composition “Afro Blue” for the text Teaching Music Through Jazz (December, 2007) and an article entitled “JazzEd Scene,” by Steve MacQueen, published in Research and Review (Vol. XIV, No. III, Fall, 2004).