Before heading into the studio, the band was on the road for many dates including Aspen Jazz Fest '14 (along side FUN, Carrie Underwood, Earth Wind & Fire, One Republic, etc.)
The band completed a 38 city North American tour with reggae greats Beres Hammond and Marcia Griffiths with many sold-out dates as part of the “For The Love of It Tour”. Many sold out venues included House of Blues in LA, Chicago and San Diego; Hard Rock Live in Orlando; The Docks in Toronto; BB Kings in NYC; and The Roxy in Boston and most recently the 2011 Aspen Jazz Fest (read review).
Leon & The Peoples features top-notch musical talent, high energy live performances and a commitment to bringing their Reggae-Soul sound to a world wide audience. The band has developed a strong following, especially among women.
The band has been featured on BET’s 106 & Park, ABC's Good Morning Chicago, NBC Morning Shows, headlined the AIDS WALK NEW YORK Concerts (2014 - 2016), NYC Central Park Summer Stage, New Orleans International Music & Arts Festival, Atlanta’s National Blacks Arts Festival and Reggae on The River just to name a few.
Leon & The Peoples song "Life is a Funny Game" is closing song in the 20th Century Fox feature film "Cover".
In 2015 they have two songs on the Lions Gate romantic comedy "I Really Hate My Ex" and one another song in the just released "Where Children Play" movie.
Leon & The Peoples were the opening act at the star-studded High Times Magazine STONY AWARDS in Los Angeles. Highlighting the highest moments in film, TV and celebrity life.
JET Magazine June 6th, 2016 - Leon Is Making Music for ‘The Peoples’ 'The Five Heartbeats' star discusses his smooth sound...
By Shameika Rhymes
You recognize him as the smooth, suave, multi-faceted actor on classics like The Five Heartbeats, Above the Rim, and The Temptations. However, it’s about more than one love for Leon. The actor has also been flexing his musical muscles as the front man and songwriter for his reggae band Leon & The Peoples. The group recently released their latest single, “I’d Look Good on You,” from their forthcoming album. To read more click link below.
Read more on JetMag.com: http://www.jetmag.com/entertainment/leon-music-peoples/#ixzz4E8bKjdIL
Lead singer & songwriter: Leon
His early years in Mt. Vernon, NY were filled with music of his father singing Nat King Cole or Motown songs, but a special cord was struck inside him when he first heard friends introduced him to Rastafarian culture and he has found it his home ground to return again and again. Leon balances his array of talent between all medium, but it is evident that his first connection was with reggae which is evident when he performs with “Leon and the Peoples.” Leon says “I was always more comfortable with that style because of the sultriness of the style -- incorporates soul, gospel, dance … everything which I love… it made me want to sing.” The “Young Lions,” the first musical group Leon performed with, opened the door to his live musical performances, but once he started singing original tunes, he knew where he wanted to go, which led to the formation of “Leon and the Peoples.”
As an actor: the multi-talented performer, continues to please his fans and sway newcomers with his memorable performances as an actor and singer. Leon has been named one of the Top 30 Sexiest Actors of All Time by AOL Black Voices. Leon stays busy with at least three films set for release in 2015. The first being, Lions Gate's "I Really Hate My Ex" in April. Many fans flocked to the theaters to see him in Disney’s blockbuster hit “Cool Runnings”. He soon graced many excellent story lines such as “Above the Rim,” “Cliffhanger,” “Waiting to Exhale,” HBO’s “Oz,” and “Crossing Jordan.” During 2004 – 2005, Leon crossed the country while packing houses performing in the theatrical version of New York Times best-selling novel “Friends and Lovers” where he sang the feature cut from the CD “Road Less Traveled” titled “Will You Be My Wife.” Leon had made his film singing debut playing a reggae singer in “The Price of Kissing,” in which he produced, starred in and sang a memorable rendition of Daddy’s Home. He proceeded to further his musical roles in the musical/dramas like Robert Townsend’s “The Five Heartbeats,” The Emmy winning
“The Temptations" as the lead singer David Ruffin of the Motown Super Group, NBC's authorized biography “Little Richard” as Little Richard himself and portrayed The legendary singer, Jackie Wilson in "Mr. Rock-n-Roll The Alan Freed Story". Leon is currently starring in the film "Where Children Play" the national tour of "Things Your
Man Won't Do".
Electric Saxaphone: Curtis Bailey
Curtis has played every major venue in New York City from Town Hall to The Village Gate and even Carnege Hall. He has spent several years writing and producing tracks for various artists and doing session work. As a member of "unity Two", a recording and touring Hip-Hop fusion band, signed to the Warner Brothers label, Curtis performed world wide,
a testiment to his versatility, Curtis has also been the musical director for an off Broadway plays, "Tomorrow", "Futureology" and now serves as musical director for Leon & The Peoples.
Lead/background vocals: Meah Pace
She's the little lady with the big voice who dances around a stage like a firecracker. Often compared to the likes of Tina Turner and Aretha Franklin, Meah Pace has made it her business to stir up the soul in all who come in her path. In her introductory EP, “11:03”, Meah bares her soul as a songwriter with hard-hitting, original tracks to tug on your heart and make you dance.This former NFL Cheerleader captain (Baltimore Ravens), reality show star ("R U The Girl...With T-Boz & Chilli" UPN/FOX), and theater/film actress from Clinton, Maryland is no stranger to commanding the largest of audiences. Meah began to make a name for herself performing the National Anthem at Madison Square Garden and providing backing vocals for The All-American Rejects, Wild Belle, The Knocks, Reverend Vince & His Love Choir, and Melvin Van Peebles to name a few. In fact, she was hand picked by Binky Griptite, of the Dap Kings, to front his band The Mellomatics.Currently based in New York, Meah has opened for bands like Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Drivin’ ‘N’ Cryin’, and The Revelations featuring Tre Williams. Meah's soulful vocals and powerhouse stage presence have attracted fans of all music genres including Rock & Roll enthusiast John Varvatos who invited her to play his coveted “Varvatos Presents Thurday Night” at his NYC clothing store formerly the legendary CBGB’s.
Lead/Background Vocals: Cathy "Alexis" Layne
Alexis layne, born in Queens, NY to Dominican, French and Trinidadian parents and was raised in a culturally diverse family with a love for music and the arts. Alexis was introduced to all kinds of music from R&B to Rock and Reggae.
Alexis writes and performes with passion and offers a wide range of vocal skills. She has performed in the off Broadway gospel musical "Passion He Lives" and has toured the world as a singer for the popular reggae artist, Collie Buds.
Guitar: Antonio Alejandro a.k.a. Alex began performing at the age of three in Santiago, Chile with a church group that sang door to door during the holidays. He sang and "played" a guitar that was more of a toy than an actual instrument. After migrating to the United States, his musical instruction began in elementary school. Violin was the instrument of choice and Alex was part of a string ensemble that performed at different schools in the Boston area. By the time he reached high school age, guitar had become his main interest, and after graduating he spent two years in South America studying classical guitar in Buenos Aires, Argentina with Miguel Ferrer. He played in the subway system with folk musicians and traveled throughout Chile learning and playing with assorted musicians and friends. After returning to the United States he earned an Associates Degree in Music at a community college in Florida and continued his education at the University of South Florida. During this time he played in bands that ranged from blues, rock, jazz and experimental music. He moved to New York in 2000 and started playing more jazz, electronic music, dub and reggae with different groups in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Long Island.
Bass Guitar: Anthony T-Bone McEwan
He bugged his mother until she bought him a Lero bass from the pawnshop. He began to hone his chops on the bass as well as several other instruments…When became old enough to play the club scene, T-Bone began to work regularly and built a strong reputation around the tri-state area. Toured with New Edition then I decided It's Time To Funk for a while until I started holding it down with Leon & The Peoples..
Key boards: Aya Coto
Composing and performing her own musical works, Aya is very active in the New York City music scene, lending her talents on the piano and keyboards to a wide variety of musical projects. Originally from Tajimi, Japan, Aya’s passion for music started early in life. She started taking piano lessons at the age of three, she took classes in composition at age six, and between the ages of eight and ten she learned traditional Japanese drumming, modern drumming, and electric bass. Aya continued her study of classical music at a well respected music high school in Nagoya, Japan, and while there she performed numerous concerts as a solo pianist. In 1999, she moved to Tokyo to study Jazz theory at a professional music school. While in Tokyo, one of Aya’s teachers was Mrs. Hiroko Kokubu, a well known jazz pianist, composer, and arranger in Japan. In January 2001, Aya moved to the United States to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, where she majored in Jazz composition and studied composition/arranging under Ken Pullig, Bob Pilkington, Scott Free and Jazz piano under Alex Elin. May of 2003, Aya moved to New York City to pursue her career as both a performance musician and a composer. Since then, she has been very active in the New York music scene, playing with a wide variety of musicians at various venues. Among her highlights, Aya has performed at Shea Stadium (Meet the Jumpers Orchestra), BAM Cafe (Erin and Her Cello), Joe’s Pub (Erin and Her Cello, Meta and the Cornerstones), Irving Plaza (Rev. John DeLore), Summer Stage in Central Park (Jo Black and Bolomba Stylee), Hard Rock Cafe (Savilian), Global Fest 2010 (Meta and the Cornerstones), Celebrate Brooklyn (Meta and Cornerstones), Winter Garden of World Financial Center (New York African Chorus Ensemble), and the Copacabana (Hot Lavender Swing). Aya composed the music for a Japanese company called ‘Lead.’ She also composed music for the independent film, “It’s All Good”, which played at several film festival acrros the United States. She worked as the musical director for various musicals, including “Let’s Be Frank,” “Chuck and Ginger: Thawed For Your Pleasure,” “Aguinaldo,” “Delilah Dix,” as well as for the “New York African Chorus Ensemble. She also played keyboard with the band Meta and the Cornerstones on their live performance on WNYC’s daily music program “Soundcheck with John Schaefer.”
Lead/background vocals: Leslie Rochelle
Leslie’s professional music career began in Detroit in 1997. During that time she performed for Carnival Cruise Lines, on the Fantasy Cruise ship traveling between Cape Canaveral, Florida and Nassau, Bahamas. By 2001 she was working with the Skillet Band playing the best of rock and roll hits and oldies at the Motor City and the MGM Grand Casinos in Detroit. She moved to New York in 2002 and became a featured singer with The Otis Funkmeyer Band performing throughout New York City. She’s been singing with Leon and the Peoples since 2005. The Metro Detroit native sites the array of incredible musicians from Motown Records along with Chaka Khan and Prince as her biggest influences. Her Rock and Soul background blends perfectly with reggae influences to contribute to the Reggae Soul vibe of Leon and the Peoples.
Roadie/background vocals: Rohan "mixroh" Dyer
From singing and playing in the church to attending arts highschool in Newark, NJ, Rohan formed
J(urzy)-Stylz, a four part harmony group with three other class mates. J(urzy)-Stylz performed and appeared at numerous local talent shows and show cases. Rohan later attended IAR (institute of audio research) where he received a more in-deph look at music production.
An up and coming producer, Rohan serves Leon and the peoples as their official roadie.
THE PEOPLES Rock JazzAspen Fest
First thing I noticed was the involvement Leon had with his audience. By the end of his third song, he had the entire stage filled with cheering festival-goers, some who appeared to be self-appointed go-go dancers. Others, just happy to have such good, live soul music in the house.
One member of the audience, New Orleans native Bridget Balentine, who has lived in the valley for decades with her husband, deputy fire chief Rick Balentine, danced and swayed to the music with a smile on her face. She is no stranger to live soul music either. She returns to her native Jazz Fest and Mardi Gras every year during breaks from the Balentine Collection business. When I asked her about the show, Bridget said "this is great -- real earthy energy. You can feel the soul coming through."
The day after the show, chilling by the river in Woody Creek, I asked Leon for his take on the festival. "It's a very well run festival and I was impressed -- impressed with the stage and the entire grounds. People had fun. At a festival, you've got to be free to do what you want. It was very diverse."
Also, why was he so adamant about having access to his audience? It turns out that Leon happens to be a professional actor as well (30 hours away from a plane to start rehearsals of his new play debuting in Washington DC, titled Why Do Good Girl Like Bad Boyz).
"One thing about me, " Leon said "spending so many years as an actor, going to so many concerts, I always wondered what I would want to see. I thought I'd like to see more interaction with the crowd, let them know that I'm signing with them."