Leigh Daniels Ensemble

Leigh Daniels





Leigh Daniels Ensemble

  • $30 Assigned Rows 1-2
  • $20 Assigned Rows 3-5
  • $15 General Admission
  • $5 Student


  • Leigh Daniels, double bass
  • Ben Maloney, piano
  • Margaret Weiss, cello
  • Steve Wood, saxophones, clarinet and flute
  • Daniel McDonald, vibraphone and percussion
  • Travis Auckerman, drums

Event Details

"Originally founded as Leigh Daniels Jazz Constellation in March, 2007, I recently changed the name to the Leigh Daniels Ensemble to free the group from the too-rigid "jazz'" classification. Since its inception, the Ensemble has grown to twelve current members. Today, the Ensemble includes Leslie DeShazor Adams, viola and Assistant Director; Buddy Budson, piano; George Davidson, drums; Rob Pipho, vibraphone; Terry Kimura, trombone; Kathleen Moore, voice, flute and percussion; Judith Teasdle, violin; Brad Phillips, violin and mandolin; and Nancy Millen and Katri Ervamaa, cello, and Daniel McDonald, percussion and guitar. For detailed information on Ensemble members, go to Performer Biographies.

It's a dream-come-true for me to be playing with the people in the Ensemble. Although I am the leader, I also am learning from the excellent musicians who are bringing the notes I write—and those of others—to life. I have built the music and the program on the premise that through teaching and learning from each other, we can produce sounds and forms that are interesting, inventive and immensely satisfying to listeners. For me the process of playing together over time is at least as important as playing a concert.

I decided to form an ensemble of musicians committed to regular sessions dedicated to the exploration and further development of each piece of music, as a means to realizing the full scope of my compositions. The sound I am trying to create requires a group of the same people playing together over an extended period of time. I think of each weekly meeting more as a workshop and less as a rehearsal in the traditional sense.

Ensemble concerts offer the opportunity to hear a mix of contemporary, classical and jazz compositions in a program that is predominantly my original music, plus a few of my arrangements of other jazz classics. The Leigh Daniels Ensemble has performed throughout Southeast Michigan, with ticket proceeds benefiting local charities and music institutions. Most recently, the Ensemble entertained over one hundred local jazz and music fans at the Firefly club in Ann Arbor."

--Leigh Daniels

Leigh Daniels

Leigh Daniels began his career in music in high school, playing harmonica and bass in a blues group. He came to Ann Arbor in 1975, to study music at the University of Michigan Residential College. As a student, Daniels was influenced by Jane Heirich, then the head of the residential college music program. He also studied composition with William Bolcom, recently retired Pulitzer Prize-winning faculty member at the University of Michigan School of Music. For the past five years, Daniels has studied composition and arranging with pianist Tad Weed.