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I was born in the countryside of East Anglia and grew up in a musical family. My mum taught me to sing, my granddad taught me to play the trumpet, and my dad taught me the drums, together they all taught me about performing and telling stories through music and words. I sing, play guitar, trumpet and any other instruments you might come across in my tunes.
As a solo artist, and in collaboration with other bands and projects, Leo has already built up a varied performing and writing background from festivals such as Glastonbury (Avalon stage) concert halls (Birmingham town hall) to clubs and venues around the country, from the Hammersmith Apollo to the Vortex Jazz Club.
Columns of Peace
A 5 track journey covering a period of 6 months when Leo moved back to the countryside of East Anglia, playing and recording everything except violin (played by Kate Reynolds) in his home studio. Tracks which take in many of Leo's influences: Blues, Jazz, Latin, Folk, soul, World.
'This E.P is about taking on life's adventures whilst remembering where home is, It builds from title track 'Columns Of Peace', a reflective and peaceful folk/blues ballad to an energetic samba/soul fuelled finale called 'Return to Love'
Leo has recorded his own e.p's as a solo artist, wrote and produced albums with bands such as 'The Sugar Beats Band' with which he won a Birmingham Jazz Award and played and toured with Birmingham gypsy punk legends 'The Destroyers'.
Leo has helped produce his own music videos, one of which 'Cabin Fever', a music video made in collaboration with animator/filmaker Theo Godley and three home educated children from Brighton, was selected for the 'Bang!' short film festival. He has also featured on other artists records notably the 2003’s BBC Radio2 Folk Album of Year ‘Sweet England by ‘Jim Moray’.
At present Leo is also involved with ‘MOJO’, a show from award winning company TheatreRites, which showed at The Barbican. Leo co wrote the music with world-renowned percussionist Adriano Adewale, and together alongside dancers and puppeteers they stared in ‘MOJO’, which was voted No.1 Christmas family entertainment show by Timeout magazine 2011.
Reviews and Quotes
"Sublime vocals by Leo Altarelli" -- (SongLines review of 'The destroyers' 'Top of the World' album 'Out Of Babel' 09/09)
'Altarelli has a fine, affecting, flexible but strong voice, his delivery subtly yet drivingly rhythmic, courtesy of a sure but unfussy guitar technique and a compelling vocal style a little reminiscent of John Martyn.
'His songs' lyrics strike a judicious balance between the colloquially intimate and the formally poetic, and his stage presence is assured but laced with just enough self-deprecation to amuse.'
(chris parker vortex)
‘Gloriously nonsensical songs and pin-sharp musicianship: a glowing eruption of freewheeling fun.’ (About ‘MOJO’ Timeout 2011)