Leo Green

Leo Green (30 August 1972) is a British musician, broadcaster, producer, actor, musical arranger, and concert promoter.

Leo Green
Born (1972-08-30) 30 August 1972
Occupation(s)Musician, Actor, Broadcaster, Presenter, Concert Promoter
InstrumentsSaxophone, clarinet
Years active1993–present

Early life

Green is the son of the late BBC Radio 2 broadcaster, writer, and musician Benny Green and actress Toni Kanal. One of four children, another of whom is the writer and musician Dominic Green.

Saxophonist & Producer

At 20, Leo joined Rock 'n' Roll legend Jerry Lee Lewis's band as his sax player. Jerry Lee Lewis declared Green "the greatest sax player I have ever worked with".[1] Following two years touring the world with Jerry Lee Lewis, Leo joined Van Morrison's band from 1995 to 2000, touring all over the world and appearing on several albums with Van Morrison, both as a saxophonist and as an arranger.[2]

From Summer 1998, Leo spent two years touring and recording with Jools Holland.

In addition to several tours with Lisa Stansfield, Wet Wet Wet and Marti Pellow, Leo has also worked with: All Saints, Annie Ross, Ben E. King, Bo Diddley, Bob Dylan, Brian Kennedy, Bryan Ferry, Carl Perkins, Cerys Matthews, Chrissie Hynde, Chuck Berry, Daniel Bedingfield, Dannii Minogue, Dina Carroll, Dionne Warwick, Elvis Costello, Emma Bunton, Eric Clapton, Gabrielle, Georgie Fame, Hank Crawford, Heather Small, James Brown, Jay Kay, Jeff Beck, Jimmy McGriff, Jimmy Witherspoon, John Dankworth, Joss Stone, Lionel Richie, Little Richard, Little Walter, Lulu, Mick Hucknall, Mose Allison, Noel Gallagher, Paul Carrack, Paul McCartney, Paul Weller, Petula Clark, Ray Charles, Ray Davies, Roger Daltrey, Ronnie Wood, Ryan Adams, Sam Moore, Sharleen Spiteri, Simon Webbe, Stereophonics, Sting, Tom Jones.

In addition he has served as the producer for Robbie Williams and Jane Horrocks[1]


In 1998, Leo made his acting debut in the British movie Swing, in which he appeared alongside Hugo Speer, Rita Tushingham, Tom Bell, Alexei Sayle, Clarence Clemons, and Lisa Stansfield, and was also featured on the soundtrack album.

Musical Director

Leo Green has served as Musical Director & Conductor for numerous artists, most notably for Burt Bacharach and Hal David, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.

Concert Promoter

From October 2005 - November 2007, Leo served as Artistic Director of Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club contracting and promoting in excess of 400 acts, including Branford Marsalis, Chick Corea, Chris Botti, David Sanborn, Jeff Beck, Joan Armatrading, José Feliciano, Keely Smith, Little Jimmy Scott, Macy Gray, Marlena Shaw, Monty Alexander, Ramsey Lewis, Ron Carter, Roy Hargrove, The Stylistics, Tony Bennett, Van Morrison, and Wynton Marsalis. In addition, Leo overhauled the stage times and opening hours of the club and introduced the concept of two houses in one night at the club, formed The Ronnie Scott's AllStars, The Ronnie Scott's Club Big Band and launched the inaugural The Ronnie Scott's Jazz Awards.[3]

In December 2007, Leo moved to The O2, taking up the post of Senior Booker for AEG Live.

In Summer of 2011, Leo left AEG Live and co-founded Bluesfest London and has served as Festival Director ever since. In 2012, Bluesfest was acquired by Live Nation.

Band Leader & Solo Projects

Leo plays saxophone and sings in his own band, The Leo Green Experience[4] and has released several solo albums (see Discography below). In 2010 guitarist Jeff Beck said, "Leo Green has to be one of the best and craziest saxophonists ever".[5] Leo's saxophone style is heavily influenced by the rhythm and blues players of the 1950s, Big Jay McNeely, Illinois Jacquet, Arnett Cobb, King Curtis, and Junior Walker.

Leo is Conductor & Musical Director for his own orchestra, The LGO.

The Leo Green Orchestra have recently accompanied Tom Chaplin (from Keane), Beverley Knight, Imelda May, for concerts that have been broadcast on BBC Radio 2 [6][7][8]


In addition to presenting on Smooth FM, from October 2008 to June 2012 he hosted his own show, Leo Green and Friends, on Jazz FM, for which he received a nomination for "Best Newcomer on UK Radio" at the Arqiva Radio Awards.

In 2013 he made his debut on BBC Radio 2 and since has written and presented in excess of one hundred hours of shows for the network, some of which include:

2013 - Green On Green – a series celebrating Green's father, Benny Green (2013),[9]

2013 - Leo Green's Hollywood Special

2014 - It Was a Very Good Year – The Ervin Drake Story

2014 - Ella and the Songbooks

2014 - Too Late to Stop Now – The Van Morrison Story, featuring interviews between Green and Van Morrison (2014).[9]

On 8 June, 2015 Green began presenting Sounds of the 50s with Leo Green.[10]

2016 - Leo Green Remembers... series remembering icons Roy Orbison, Julie London, Bobby Darin, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr.

2016 - Leo Green Talks....Jazz

2016 - Leo picked his Tracks Of My Years With Ken Bruce

2017 - Leo Green's Great American Songbook series celebrating the likes of Cole Porter, Harold Arlen, Sammy Cahn, Irving Berlin

2017 - Leo Green's Lovers Of Swing

2018 - Live From The Green Room

Leo has hosted several of BBC Radio 2's Friday Night Is Music Night concerts, including "Our Great Arrangers"; "Fabulous Films Of The 50s"; "Cleo Laine At 90"; "Gershwin Rediscovered"

Leo serves as a dep for Clare Teal on Sunday nights on BBC Radio 2, most recently in October 2018 [11]


Green has written articles for The Guardian and GQ Magazine, among others.[12]

In 2016, Leo Co-Conceptualised and C0-Constructed the stage show "Rip It Up - The 50s"



  • Suited and Booted (2006)
  • Sax Moods – The Way We Were (2002)
  • Straight Up (1998)

As guest

With Jeff Beck

With Van Morrison

With Lisa Stansfield

With Jane Horrocks

  • Further Adventures of Little Voice Jane Horrocks (2000)

With Jools Holland

  • Small World Big Band (2001)
  • Swing Album (2001)
  • Jools Holland's Big Band (2002)
  • More Friends: Small World Big Band, Vol. 2 (2002)
  • Swinging the Blues Dancing the Ska (2005)

Daniel Bedingfield

  • Gotta Get Thru This (2002)

With Beth Gibbons & Rustin Man

With Various

  • Songs of Jimmie Rodgers: A Tribute (1997)
  • A Tribute to Bacharach & David (2001)
  • A Tribute to Leiber & Stoller (2002)
  • Let Me Be Your Side Track: The Influence of Jimmy Rogers (2008)[13]


  1. "The Leo Green". Internet Archive. 3 January 2015. Archived from the original on 3 January 2015. Retrieved 29 September 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  2. Becker, Günter. "Van Morrison: song database". Ivan.vanomatic.de. Retrieved 29 August 2010.
  3. http://www.bluesandsoul.com/news_item/150/ronnie_scotts_jazz_awards_2007/
  4. "The Leo Green - Musician - Broadcaster - Live Music - Live Events Sax". Theleogreenexperience.com. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  5. Beck, Jeff (17 June 2010). "Jeff Beck". Jeffbeck.com. Archived from the original on 19 August 2010. Retrieved 29 August 2010.
  6. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0002hql
  7. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0002mvm
  8. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0005h73
  9. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 July 2015. Retrieved 13 June 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. "Sounds of the 50s with Leo Green - BBC Radio 2". BBC. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  11. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0000y05
  12. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 July 2015. Retrieved 13 June 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. "Leo Green". AllMusic. Retrieved 23 December 2008.
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