April 30th, 2022 8:30pm Stage 2
JSWISS & Michael Leonhart
Grammy Award-winning trumpeter/producer Michael Leonhart and highly touted emcee JSWISS culminate two years of working remotely throughout a pandemic with the release of their debut duo album Bona Fide. The two were brought together in the summer of 2019 when Leonhart was looking for a rapper to make a guest appearance during a performance with his orchestra, which led to several more shows together over the next 6 months. When the pandemic shut down not only performances, but also studio sessions, Leonheart and JSWISS went to work remotely crafting an album from their respective home studio setups.
On the dynamic 10-song Bona Fide album, Leonhart handles all production duties and plays multiple instruments, while also calling on contributions from Grammy-winning trumpeter Keyon Harrold, drummers Nick Movshon and Homer Steinweiss (Amy Winehouse, El Michels Affair, The Dap Kings), woodwind player Chris Bullock (Snarky Puppy) and guitarist Bill Frisell. The only samples on the record actually come from the yet-to-be-released album from Leonhart’s own Michael Leonhart Orchestra, “The Normyn Suites.” JSWISS handles all lyrical duties, covering a variety of topics including love, Black excellence, and a string of songs inspired by themes from Brazilian author Paulo Coelho’s book Manuscript Found In Accra. With standouts like "Golden", "BLACKOUT" and "The Chase" featuring Keyon Harrold, the debut album from the duo is sure to go down as one of the most quality hip-hop releases of 2022.
Michael Leonhart is a versatile trumpeter, composer and producer who leads and writes for his own Michael Leonhart Orchestra, has toured for years with legendary band Steely Dan, performed on Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars' smash hit "Uptown Funk" and has collaborated with the likes of Wu-Tang Clan, Elvis Costello, Q-Tip and Paul Simon. JSWISS is one of the most exciting lyricists on the rise, providing inspiring messages, sharp wordplay, and an energy that moves the crowd under a brand of hip-hop he terms "Awthentic." JSWISS is also a favorite collaborator of standout bands and musicians at the intersection of hip-hop, soul and jazz, such as Maurice “Mobetta” Brown, Ben Williams, Marcus Strickland, Nate Smith, Nicholas Payton, E.J. Strickland, and Mark Whitfield.