Leo SidranHost of The Third Story
Leo Sidran is a Grammy winning multi-instrumentalist musician, producer, arranger, composer, recording artist, podcast host and creative coach based in Brooklyn, New York.
Raised around music and musicians, Sidran started writing songs professionally as a teenager when the Steve Miller Band recorded four of his songs for their 1993 Wide River album. Around the same time, he began performing regularly as a drummer with his father, renowned and multifaceted jazzman Ben Sidran.
Sidran’s seven solo albums have explored the space between pop music, jazz, Brazilian and singer songwriter genres. Jazz Magazine in France says “Leo Sidran makes pop music swing.” Jazz Times says of Leo, “Vocally he suggests an amalgam of his father Ben with a hint of Donald Fagen. His fluid laidback style is reminiscent of Bob Dorough. Musically and lyrically his compositions are smart, sharp, and sparklingly original.” His most recent album, The Art Of Conversation was released in 2021. El Pais in Spain called it a “hymn to empathy”.
In addition to his solo career he has produced or co-produced projects for artists around the world (often in the Latin music space) including the Oscar winning song “Al otro lado del rio” for Jorge Drexler (from the film The Motorcycle Diaries), the Latin Grammy winning Healer for Cuban singer Alex Cuba, Grammy Nominated Mis Americas for Argentine-American songwriter Kevin Johansen, and The Original for Clyde Stubblefield (James Brown's original funky drummer). Leo has produced all of Ben Sidran’s records for the last 15 years, most recently Swing State.
Leo’s music has been featured in hundreds of advertisements for the world’s biggest brands, and he has scored long form projects for outlets including ESPN 30 for 30, Discovery, IFC, Sundance, and PBS.
As a drummer, he has played and recorded with jazz luminaries including Phil Woods, Howard Levy, David Fathead Newman, Clark Terry, Dave Grusin, Rick Margitza, and many more. He tours regularly around the world with his father’s quartet and his love of jazz continues to inform much of his work.
Above all, Leo loves to connect with people, which is what led him to start his much heralded podcast The Third Story, featuring interviews with musicians, producers, songwriters, and others in the creative class of all ages about their personal stories and professional journeys. Although it is not specifically a jazz podcast, many of his guests have spent time exploring the space around improvisation and creation.
Eric Harland is one of the most in-demand jazz drummers of his generation. Speaking with Leo Sidran on The Third Story, he talks about coming up in Houston, learning from legends, and exploring the properties of "time."
Bob Power's records have a sound: it's in the depth and dimension of his mixes. Speaking about music and life with Leo Sidran for The Third Story, he brought a similar richness of detail.
Jason Moran reflects on isolation and connection, truth and passion, in conversation on The Third StoryPianist and composer Jason Moran spoke with Leo Sidran for The Third Story in spring of 2020, when the idea of social distancing was just settling in. It shouldn't be a surprise that he had a lot to say.