Bradley Leighton’s SHORT Bio
Bradley Leighton’s musical interests have always been diverse. As a young man, he loved big band music, particularly Maynard Ferguson, Stan Kenton and Woody Herman. Yet he also found himself drawn to the R&B sounds of Tower of Power, Earth Wind and Fire, and, the Brecker Brothers.
After high school, he seized an opportunity by enlisting and playing in the Army’s 9th Infantry Division band at Ft. Lewis, Washington. When his talent quickly became obvious, he was appointed musical director of the jazz ensemble. A tour with the 8th Army band in Seoul, Korea soon followed. Bradley remained in Seoul after his discharge several years later to teach, and perform in the country’s only Jazz bar.
After the Army, he spent the next fifteen years playing in rhythm and blues bands, Hammond organ trios, funk dance bands and straight-ahead jazz groups. He also taught privately, working with encouraging young musicians, just as his Seattle mentors had done for him.
His approach was born in his big band roots, where accomplished reed men took their saxophone experience to the flute. Inspired by such legends as Frank Wess and Sam Most, Bradley found that the alto flute was the best vehicle for his creativity. He’s played with such legendary artists as Bobby McFerrin, Clark Terry, Dizzy Gillespie and others in addition to jamming and playing with many of the local musicians. He became Seattle’s first call jazz flutist and developed a reputation as one of the leading players in the area.
In addition to recording and performing, Bradley Leighton has continued to share his knowledge and enthusiasm of music as a clinician and teacher. Besides private lessons, he leads workshops for musicians of all skill levels, including, “Improvisation for the Classically Trained Flutist,” and “Music For Life – Improvisation for the Adult Amateur Musician.” He is also a Yahama Performing Artist.
He currently performs at Seaport Village in San Diego, CA where he’s been for the last 7 years..