Musical talent and a passionate connection to the music was literally born to Leandro Saint-Hill Montejo. In Camagüey, Cuba, at the age of seven he first got violin lessons from his father Marcelo Saint-Hill Sweeney. At eleven he was introduced to the basics of saxophone playing by Mario Lombida. The way was paved for an extraordinary development as a musician and composer.
After graduating from the José White Music School, he initially worked as a teacher at the conservatory in Las Tunas. Then he moved to the capital Havana and worked together with music greats such as the Bolero singer Beatriz Márquez, Salsa Star Manolín “El Médico de la Salsa” or the Carlos Maza Jazz Quintet.
In the mid-1990s, Leandro Saint-Hill moved to Hamburg, Germany. From here, his unique style has made him one of the most sought-after saxophonists on the Latin radio scene in Europe. He expanded his instrumentation to clarinet and flute and gained more studio and stage experience, including Patrice, Jamaica Papa Curvin, Klazz Brothers, Nena, Modern Talking and even Helene Fischer.
In 2008, followed by a Grammy nomination with Omar Sosa. His first own musical concept he realized with his band “Saint Hill Collectivo”, an impressive combination of different genres and styles in soul and funk. He also wrote soundtracks for the road movie “Cuban Dreams” or the arte TV documentary “The Mafia Paradise”.
For years Leandro Saint-Hill has been touring Europe and around the world with stars like Omar Sosa, Trilok Gurtu, Tony Martinez – Cuban Power, Omar Sosa, Roberto Santamaria and Julio Barreto, Mercado Negro, Andy Montañez, Willy Chirino. This lively international exchange also benefits his own new project: the Leandro Saint-Hill Quartet.
Leandro Saint Hill Quartet: Cadencias
New Cuban Jazz in an extraordinary mix: The top-class and international Leandro Saint-Hill Quartet from Hamburg, Germany presents his debut album Cadencias.
Leandro Saint-Hill, who had a recent Latin Grammy nomination with Omar Sosa, has been touring the world with stars such as Trilok Gurtu, Tony Martinez, Roberto Santamaria and Julio Barreto.
In his quartet he has found an ideal cast for his compositions with double bass player Omar Rodriguez Calvo (Tingvall Trio and others), pianist Matthäus Winnitzki (Gabriel Coburger and others) and percussionist Nené Vasquez (Shakira and others). Because not only their virtuosity, but also the extremely lively interplay of the four musicians makes the Cuban sun rise on the jazz stage.
With Cadencias, the Leandro Saint Hill Quartet combines the sophistication and soulfulness of modern Cuban Jazz with the lightness of traditional rhythms such as Danzòn, Habanera, Rumba, Son and Chachachá. It creates a unique, innovative style.
The compositions achieve a fine harmonic and melodic catchiness at the highest musical level – and also give the very charming lyrics of the vocal pieces a harmonious home. The album is released by the Hamburg label German Wahnsinn Records.
Leandro Saint-Hill Quartet
Leandro Saint-Hill: saxophone, flute, clarinet, vocals
Matthew Winnitzki: piano
Omar Rodriguez Calvo: double bass
Nené Vasquez: percussion
Guest Musicians on the album Cadencias: piano & percussion: Omar Sosa (3,8); violin: Marcelo Saint-Hill Sweeney (13); piano: Sandor Saint-Hill Montejo (13); backing vocals: Jocelyn Saint-Hill (3,8,12); vocals & percussion: Arturo Martinez (4,14); vocals: Fernando Spengler (2); batá: Silvano Mustelier Cabreja (8); percussion: Maurice Remedios Sarria (2,4,6,10,12,14); violin: Yanara Figueroa (13); cello: Annika Stolze (13); tres & guitar: Dany Labana Martinez (14); congas & back vocals: Elio Rodriguez Luis (1); drums & percussion: Raul Pineda (7,8,13); percussion: Jesús Díaz (7); alto sax & vocals: Antonio Lizana (7); piano: Tony Martinez (7).