Darrell Leonard News

"We Belong Together" from "Toy Story 3" written by Randy Newman with horns arranged by Darrell Leonard wins  Academy Award for best song 2011.

Happy new year to one and all.

Winding up the year by playing several church Christmas  programs.

Off to Angola  Prison with Phil Driscoll.  Played  two nights and filmed them for a documentary.

Home from tour.  Had a great time.

Start rehearsal with Leon Russell and Elton John.  The studio band from the "Union" CD is preparing to do several shows.  Boston, New York City, San Francisco, London , and Hollywood.

Daytona Beach, Florida with Taj.  Crazy town.

Started trumpet lessons with Arturo Sandoval.  Hello.

Bohemian Grove with the Blues Brothers.  Wrote a big band book and had a great bunch of San Francisco players fill out the band.  Drank a lot of wine.

Off to  Toledo with Belushi

Studs Terkel  on HBO

Taj at Doheny Blues Festival

Recording this month (May 2010) with the Phantom Blues Band and with Curtis Selgado.

Again in the studio with T Bone Burnett. This time with Elvis Costello.

More gigs with the Blues Brothers, Taj Mahal and Randy Jacobs.

In the studio with T Bone Burnett arranging and playing on several songs for the upcoming Elton John and Leon Russell project. It will be released on October 18 2010.

Back in the studio with Mitchell Froom where I arranged and played on Randy Newman's tune "We Belong Together" for "Toy Story3".

Back out on the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise with Taj Mahal and the Phantom Blues Band. Hitting the Caribbean this time.

In the studio with T Bone Burnett and Gregg Allman. Recorded a live version of 'Blind Man" using five horns and rhythm section. Will be released in January 2011.

Worked with producer Mitchell Froom who I had worked with years ago with Bonnie Raitt. He saw us in Palm Springs on the Bon Taj tour and we hooked up again.

A few Blues Brothers dates in the mix.

Out with the Phantom Blues Band on the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise. Went to Mexico and due to hurricanes, we stayed at sea the whole trip. Dave Mason played a few tunes with us. glad to get back on solid ground.

Great time on the tour with Taj and Bonnie. Looking forward to the next one.

Getting ready to hit the road with Taj Mahal & the Phantom Blues Band and Bonnie Raitt on the Bontajroulet tour. Will be playing with both Taj and Bonnie and then both Taj and Bonnie doing a combined set with both band at the end of the show. If you're in the neighborhood stop by and say hello

Thu Aug 6 - Williamsport, PA - Community Arts Center

Sat Aug 8 - Philadelphia, PA - Mann Center

Sun Aug 9 - Wallingford, CT - Chevrolet Theatre

Tue Aug 11 - Newark, NJ - NJPAC

Wed Aug 12 - Brooklyn, NY - Prospect Park Bandshell

Fri Aug 14 - Hyannis, MA - Cape Cod Melody Tent

Sat Aug 15 - Boston, MA - Bank of America Pavilion

Sun Aug 16 - Vienna, VA - Filene Center at Wolf Trap

Tue Aug 18 - Atlanta, GA - Chastain Park Amphitheatre

Wed Aug 19 - Louisville, KY - The Louisville Palace

Fri Aug 21 - Highland Park, IL - Ravinia Festival

Sat Aug 22 - Highland Park, IL - Ravinia Festival

Sun Aug 23 - Grand Rapids, MI - Meijer Gardens

Tue Aug 25 - Indianapolis, IN - The Lawn at White River State Park

Thu Aug 27 - St. Paul, MN - Minnesota State Fair

Fri Aug 28 - Council Bluffs, IA - Stir Cove at Harrah's Casino

Sun Aug 30 - Morrison, CO - Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Tue Sep 1 - Salt Lake City, UT - Red Butte Amphitiheatre

Wed Sep 2 - Boise, ID - Idaho Botanical Gardens

Thu Sep 3 - Troutdale, OR - Edgefield Winery

Sat Sep 5 - Bend, OR - Les Schwab Amphitheatre

Sun Sep 6 - Woodinville, WA - Chateau Ste. Michelle

Mon Sep 7 - Eugene, OR - Cuthbert Amphitheatre

Wed Sep 9 - Friant, CA - Table Mountain Casino

Fri Sep 11 - Los Angeles, CA - Greek Theatre

Sat Sep 12 - Santa Barbara, CA - Santa Barbara Bowl

Sun Sep 13 - Saratoga, CA - The Mountain Winery

Wed Sep 16 - Oakland, CA - Paramount Theatre

Thu Sep 17 - San Diego, CA - Humphrey's Concerts by the Bay

Fri Sep 18 - Las Vegas, NV - House of Blues

Sun Sep 20 - Telluride, CO - Telluride Blues & Brews Festival

Wed Sep 23 - Albuquerque, NM - Sandia Casino

Thu Sep 24 - Phoenix, AZ - Dodge Theatre

Fri Sep 25 - Rancho Mirage, CA - Agua Caliente Casino

Once again with T Bone Burnett I used my favorite trombone section, Ira Nepus, George Bohannon, and Maurice Spears on Jakob Dylan's new recording.

Arranged and played on legendary Australian singer Jimmy Barnes new collection of some American soul classics. We used the cream of LA's R&B session players. James Gadson, Reggie McBride, Johnny Lee Schell, Mike Thompson, Joe Sublett, and Tom Petterson. Had a ball recording live with no overdubs. Did fifteen songs in three days.

Again in the the studio with T Bone I arranged a ten piece horn section for Grace Potter and the Nocturnals new CD which will be released in October.

B.B. King CD "One Kind Favor" that I arranged horns and played on won best traditional blues Grammy.

A Pepsi commercial I arranged, played trumpet on and co produced with T Bone Burnett was featured on President Obama"s Inauguration and the Super Bowl.

Did some arranging and playing on the new Fall Out Boy CD with Neal Avron.

Eric Simonson asked me to write a jazz score for his documentary on Studs Terkel.

Worked with John Porter on the Radio City Rockette's Christmas Record.

More sessions, road work, and arranging work. Started playing with the band and choir at Living Waters of the San Fernando Valley.

Chicago in the winter. Lot's of snow. After six weeks of rehearsal at the Steppenwolf, the show is up and running. I head back to LA and the show does a succesful ten week run.

From the Caribbean to Chicago for "Carter's Way" rehearsals. Now there's a change.

Blues Cruise in the Caribbean. Not a bad way to spend January.

A few warm up gigs with The Phantom Blues band before we hit the high seas with Taj on the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise 08.

Off to San Francisco with Taj and the Phantom Blues Band. Played a week at Yoshi's.

In the studio with Taj Mahal. This will be the 10th album I've done with Taj.

Finished up the B.B. King project.

Just back from Chicago where Eric Simonson and I did a workshop at the Steppenwolf Theatre for "Carter's Way". We begin rehearsal in January for a February opening. Check info for Carter's Way.

Did a session with for producer Don Was a few weeks ago featuring the great Detroit singer Sweet Pea Adkinson. It was filmed and is on the internet available for free download. Check it out at My Damn Channel.

Working on B.B.Kings' new recording with producer T Bone Burnett and engineer Mike Piersante. Arranged and played trumpet on five great tracks. Getting ready to do seven more. B.B. sounds great. I hope I hold up that well at 82.

Played at the South Point Hotel showroom in Las Vegas with the Phantom Blues Band. Our new CD "Footprints" will be available on the Delta Groove label in November.

Darrell Leonard/Joe Sublett CD "Texacali Horns" now available in stores and on line.

Recently put a brass section on a couple of new tunes for the band Fall Out Boy's new CD with producer Neal Avron.

Played at Safari Sam's in Hollywood CA September 21 with Joe Sublett with our new band and played music from our new CD "Texacali Horns"

Played at the Greek Theatre with Los Lonely Boys on August 18.

Worked at Ultra Tone studios with Joe Sublett as we finish work on the Phantom Blues Band CD.

I recently spent the day at legendary Shangrila Studio in Malibu working with producer John Porter on the new Keb' Mo record.

The Texacali Horns just finished work on a new batch of cues for this years season of the ABC series "According to Jim" starring Jim Belushi.

Played on the title track "Don't Come Knocking" for the new Sam Shephard movie of the same name. T Bone Burnett was the producer of the song he co-wrote with Bono, and Edge. Featurd vocalists were Bono and Andrea Coors.

Along with Glen Clark I just finished production on a Jim Belushi "According to Jim" soundtrack record which will soon be released on Hollywood Records. All the music was played by Jim's band The Sacred Hearts.

The Texacali Horns recently spent a couple of days in the studio with John Porter working on the new Los Lonely Boys record.

I spent the month of May in Kansas City where I worked as music director on the play "Carter's Way". I created a score and songs written in the style of Kansas City jazz from the mid thirties. I had the pleasure of working with wonderful Kansas City musicians. The great Bobby Watson played saxophone and helped me by assembling a sterling swinging rhythm section composed of Tommy Ruskin on drums, Gerald Spaits on bass, and Joe Cartwright on piano. Along with me playing trumpet we spent two days in the studio playing blues and eating barbeque. Who could ask for more?


I got to work in Capitol Records studio A with engineer Ed Cherney and eleven more of my favorite horn players where we recorded my big band arrangement of "Nice 'n' Easy" for an episode of Jim Belushi's TV show "According to Jim".

Along with Joe Sublett I played on the new Solomon Burke CD "Make Do With What You Got". It's old school soul all the way. Our favorite drummer James Gadson lends his masters touch to all the tracks. It's in stores now. Check it out it.

Got a call from Don Randi to play a few nights with Nancy Sinatra. What fun. She is way cool.Nancy Sinatra .com


I had a ball playing at the Hollywood Bowl with Dr. John. Tenor player Herman Riley, Ernie Fields Jr., and I were the guest horn section. We opened for B.B. King who was in rare form. I hope I can still play that strong when I'm 78.

You can hear Darrell and Joe along with Greg Smith on Tift Merrits' new CD "Tamborine". Check her out, she's way cool. www.tiftmerrit.com

We are also on Johnny Rivers latest release "Reinvention Highway". JohnnyRivers.com


The Texacali Horns just finished work on a new batch of cues for the ABC series "According to Jim" starring Jim Belushi. Jim's band, The Sacred Hearts, recorded some blues tracks and Joe and Darrell played solos over them. We'll see how they cut them up and use them as the season moves along.

Thirty five years ago I was playing trumpet with Delaney & Bonnie & Friends. We were booked on "The Festival Express", a private train which traveled west from Toronto To Calgary carrying the Band, The Greatful Dead, Janis Joplin, Delaney& Bonnie and many more. The music and the party on the train went on 24-7. Now thirty five years later the film is being released in selected theaters across the country . Check it out. Festival Express. You will find Kenny Gradney and me in the film trailer and the still shots .


Darrell will be with the Phantom Blues band and The Texacali Horns on the Legendary Blues Cruise with the Phantom Blues Band in January 2005