Special Programs
New York Cool: Free Friday Night Music Presented by Bank of America
Jay Leonhart, His Family and Friends
Fri, April 27th, 2012 | 7:30 pm

Event details

The New-York Historical Society and Bank of America present a free, Friday night concert series highlighting musical history makers, past and present. This concert series features hip, well-known and emerging names from across the spectrum of classical, jazz and popular music genres. Shows are first come, first served, and refreshments are available for purchase. And after the show stick around for our raffles, with prizes from local institutions!

Performer bio(s)

Jay Leonhart is a highly regarded bassist and songwriter, born on December 6, 1940 in Baltimore, Maryland, and by the age of seven, Jay and his older brother Bill were playing banjos, guitars, mandolins and basses. When Jay was fourteen he started playing the bass in The Pier Five Dixieland Jazz Band in Baltimore and never looked back. After studying at The Peabody Institute, Jay attended The Berklee School of Music and The Advanced School of Contemporary Music in Toronto. Upon moving to New York, Jay began playing for many great jazz musicians, big bands, and singers, and has continued to work with many of the great jazz musicians of the twentieth century. 

Donna Leonhart started her music career in Greenwich Village in the 1960s. She sang in clubs across the city and starred in commercials, as well as Off-Broadway musicals. After Donna married Jay she continued to sing solo, and with her family at Jazz festivals and concerts across the world. In 2001, Donna released her debut album, “Bein’ Green” marking her re-emergence into the jazz world. The album was named Album of the Month on French Jazz Radio and has received much popular and critical acclaim.

Carolyn Leonhart, daughter of Jay and Donna Leonhart, is a talented vocalist and attended LaGuardia High School, where she was a feature soloist in their choir for three years and won The Lena Horne High School Jazz Vocalist Competition. In 2000 Carolyn released her first album “Steal the Moon." On her most recent album, “New 8th Day” (2005), Carolyn is joined by a working band, which includes her husband, well-known saxophonist Wayne Escoffrey.

Michael Leonhart, son of Jay and Donna Leonhart, was born in 1974 in New York City. Leonhart is a world-renowned trumpet player, producer, multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger and singer-songwriter. At age 17, Michael received a Grammy for Outstanding High School Musician in the U.S., making him the youngest Grammy recipient in history. Michael has released seven solo albums, as well as the Grammy award-winning album “Two against Nature” with Steely Dan in 2000. Most recently, Michael has recorded with Yoko Ono as a featured member of the Plastic Ono Band. 

Jamie Leonhart is often compared to Norah Jones, Feist and Sarah Vaughan, among others. With a lithe and lyrical three-and-a-half octave voice, Ms. Leonhart has performed as a soloist on stages ranging from great New York institutions like Avery Fisher Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall to intimate venues such as Joe’s Pub, the Living Room and Rockwood Music Hall. Her debut recording, "The Truth About Suffering," was released by Sunnyside Records, and she is currently recording a new solo project, to be released later this year. She is married to musician Michael Leonhart.

Swing Bros. recording artist Harry Allen (tenor saxophone) has over thirty recordings to his name. Three of his albums have won Gold Disc Awards from Japan’s Swing Journal Magazine, and his album “Tenors Anyone?” won both the Gold Disc Award and the New Star Award. Harry has performed at jazz festivals and clubs worldwide, frequently touring the United States, Europe and Asia, and has performed with Rosemary Clooney, Ray Brown, Hank Jones and Frank Wess, among others.

Raffle details

Nancy's Wines, a member of AOC Fine Wines, has generously donated a certificate valid for one wine class for ten people at their store at 313 Columbus Avenue. You will sample six to eight wines and receive a ten percent discount on wines the evening of the class. This donation has a retail value of $500 and is a great opportunity to spend an evening with friends trying and learning about new wines. 

Lady M Confections has generously donated a $25 gift card for treats at their boutique, located at 41 East 78th Street. Caffè Storico has also donated a $50 gift card to be used at the restaurant any time!


The Robert H. Smith Auditorium. New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024


The New-York Historical Society is grateful to Bank of America for its generous support of

New York Cool: Friday Night Music.

Creative: Tronvig Group