Leo’s musical journey began in Birmingham, Alabama at an early age of four when his father began to notice his interest in imitating entertainers like James Brown, Elvis, and Chuck Berry. At the age of six on Christmas Day his first guitar appeared under the tree made of cardboard & plastic, with a wooden neck. On his 13th birthday his Dad purchased his first electric guitar. That was the fire to ignite his flame.
Through past years in Birmingham, he was an active member of his Church, and School choir. Key performed in local groups, both Gospel, and R&B.
Leo soon relocated to Los Angeles with an eight man group to hopefully score a deal. A year and a half later the band was signed to an MCA subsidiary, ”Source Records” Through rocky relations between management and record label, the groups double album was never released in the U.S.
After many years of silence, two tracks were released in Europe. Leo split the band to become a independent Artist. He established many connections, and assembled groups to tour and work in Japan for nearly a decade.
His foundation is rooted deep in the southern Gospel traditions of music. He is an accomplished guitarist, producer, engineer, instructor, with an amazing track record of projects, credits, and recommendations.
Leo gained his skills working with the many labels, producers, Artist, and engineers through the years. Some which are: Motown Records, MCA Records, Ray Chew of “Saturday Night at the Apollo”, “Chuck Rainey”, “George Clinton”, “The Patrice Rushen Band”, Cedric Martin of “Confunkshin”, “The Commodores”, Louis Johnson of “The Brothers Johnson”, Kirk Franklin, and Fred Hammond projects. Recommendations landed him production work with The Hill Country Youth Ranch of Ingram Texas. Leo worked with a hand picked staff on their “Children’s Project. He was a co-producer, writer, and arranger. He co-penned and produced the title track, “Let The Voices Sing” from their debut cd, “Broken Wings Can Fly”.
His debut CD titled Leo Key Unlocked captures the essence of his musical roots. “Living Blues Magazine” called Unlocked “An Exceptional Debut Recording”.
Leo Key: Unlocked charted at number 30 in the Real Blues Magazine top 100 CD’s.
“Perceptive songwriting, terse and toneful guitar, and incredible vocals combined to make Unlocked an impressing outing” – Blues Review…
His 2016 release The Luv Zone achieved high praise, and was entered into The 60th Grammy®Awards Process. “His music takes a basic blues rock template and adds in tasty flourishes from all over, no doubt influenced by his lengthy musical education. So, you’ll find jazz and fusion licks creeping in to the mainstream blues rock sound.” Alan – Blues Matters MagazineMagazine…Bridgend,
“His music takes a basic blues rock template and adds in tasty flourishes from all over, no doubt influenced by his lengthy musical education. So, you’ll find jazz and fusion licks creeping in to the mainstream blues rock sound.” Alan – Blues Matters Magazine…Bridgend,
His music takes a basic blues rock template and adds in tasty flourishes from all over, no doubt influenced by his lengthy musical education. So, you’ll find jazz and fusion licks creeping in to the mainstream blues rock sound.” Alan – Blues Matters Magazine…Bridgend,
Leo relocated to Dallas Texas two 2 years later and team up with a good friend from the Youth Ranch Project, and managed Avalon Recording Studios several years, a state of the art recording facility with a customized mobile unit for on location recording.
New technology, styles, and trends continue to take over old ones. Major studios has taken a back set to the project studio boom. Leo’s ability to evolve with the changing times keep him current and in the loop.
He returned to Los Angeles several with the qualifying credentials to become a member of the prestigious Los Angeles Recording Academy. Leo currently hold a seat on the Producers & Engineers Wing of the Academy. For the past decade and a half has worked with The Los Angeles Board of Education, instructing digital music production, voice and guitar. His love and passion working with inspiring Artist, and At Risk Youth Programs is clearly defined in his work.
Leo’s live performances are captivating, and electrifying. He entertain Clubs, Hotels, Colleges, Tours, guest appearances, etc..
“Leo Key and his band always hit a grand slam with the audience”…Richard S. Pollack, President, Rainbow Entertainment Dallas, TX.
Key continues to create, perform, instruct and inspire everyone he works with. There will be much more to say, as his story continue to evolve. **Stay Tuned**