BIOGRAPHY

Pippi Ardennia & Daniel L. Leahy’s Music

 

We are both 69 years young and our life mantra is,

“'It's Never To Late, to be in Love, to Dream, to Create, to
Change, to Transform your world and

Be Your desired Possibilities”

Daniel and Pippi believe their music has the power to transform the listeners by given them a new perspective and presenting the option they have and always have had the power within them.

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Pippi Ardennia

Praised by JazzPolice.com for her “Big, soulful voice,” she is
Soulful. Seductive. Bluesy. Funky. Slinky. Swinging. Sensual.

 

No, these are not the many voices of Pippi Ardennia, but the description of one singular voice of a singer/storyteller who brings it all together, packaged from one heart, music that "makes you feel," says Andrea Canter from JazzInk.

A Chicago native who has been singing since she was 13 years old and for more than 35 years, Ardennia has performed at many of Chicago's most respected jazz clubs, including Burning Spear, Mr. Kelly, Rosebud on Rush, Green Dolphin, and the Chicago Symphony Center.

 

Since moving to Minnesota, Pippi has appeared at the Dakota Jazz Club, a Twin Cities Jazz Festival favorite for eight years and has co-produced and starred in the highly acclaimed concert series at the Historic Landmark Center PipJazz Sunday’s.

 

She has also performed for celebrities such as Bill Clinton, Tony Bennett, and Liza Minnelli, and performed alongside Freddie Hubbard, George Freeman, and Billy Branch, while recognized for her leadership of the PipJazz Foundation. With Peterson lauding her “unique style that has subtle hints of Carmen McRae and Billie Holiday.”
 

Ardennia is known for her Black Coffee CD, released in 2005 and, while in Minnesota, she released Love So Good in 2013, featuring a wide assortment of jazz and soul covers in addition to the artist's original compositions.

 

On top of her singing career, Pippi does concert production and music education with her PipJazz Foundation/Youth program. Pippi is the head and founder of the PipJazz Women in Jazz Workshop, a not-for-profit organization that brings female performers and educators together with local girls and women studying jazz in their middle, high school and college programs. The workshop was recently recognized by the Minnesota Women's Press Magazine, which named Pippi a 2013 "Changemaker."

 

"Pippi is a cross between Cassandra Wilson and a hurricane!"

- Andre Fischer (Grammy Award winning producer)

 

"The first time I met Pippi I knew I was in for a treat, then when I heard her sing, I nearly dropped. She has her own unique style that has subtle hints of Carmen McRae and Billy Holiday. She will knock you out."

- Fleetwood Mac organist, Ricky Peterson.

Daniel L. Leahy

Composer, pianist, vocalist, inspirational speaker,

and founder of Jazz in the Schools Program.


Daniel started playing music at the early age of 4 years old when he discovered that he was able to play the exact song note for note that he heard the organist play at church one Sunday morning. Growing up in a large family he had the pleasure of listening to his nine siblings play and sing old jazz records. It was great ear training for him to play along with those recordings.

 

Daniel fell in love with the beautiful language of jazz by the time he was 13, at which point he was already playing in local nightclubs with his sister Elizabeth’s band, The Castaways.  Daniel soon started touring the country with such notables as Donnie Sanders and Cheri St. James, Steve Grimm and Coleen Raye, a Florida group called Cloud Burst, and many more.

 

During these early years, Daniel had the opportunity to perform for The Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon, at the Sahara Las Vegas casino with the Ohio based Christian Brothers. Daniel performed two European tours with the Intercontinental Ambassador of Peace and vocalist Mr. Joe Carter. While living in Nashville, Leahy worked with many artists including the RCA recording artist Buck Finley.

 

While on the roster of numerous jazz festivals, Leahy has played with performers such as Louie Benson, Clark-Mumbles Terry, Hampton Hawes, and James Morrison. Daniel has studied piano voicings with word renowned jazz pianist such as benny Green and Tamir Hendelman.

 

For Daniel, classical jazz artist such as Oscar Peterson, Hank Jones, Nat Cole, and Joe Sample have been his biggest stylistic influences. Within these influences Leahy's created his own unique style, which encapsulates his versatility.

 

Daniel combines his clarity of notes with his distinct love for harmonies giving glimpse of George Shearing and other great composers/pianists like Sergio Mendez, Paul Williams, Marvin Hamlisch, and Burt Bacharach of days gone by.