Leonid is a fifth generation musician from Kursk, Russia. At the age of nine, he played harmonica on the streets of Moscow to earn lunch money. Leonid was inspired to learn the guitar by blues masters like Mississippi Fred McDowell and B.B. King. He fell in love with jazz after hearing Lester Young.
Before coming to the U.S., Leonid often performed with his first mentor and biggest influence - his grandad, pianist Leonid Vintskevich. Leonid participated multiple times in the Jazz Province Festival and Lundstrem-fest-100.
Having graduated from SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music, Leonid now performs regularly in clubs and other venues around New York City. He has performed at the Caramoor Jazz Festival and the James Moody Festival as well as at Mezzrow, Flying Lobster, Django and Ornithology with his co-project The Octet. As well as leading his own gigs, Leonid has also performed with noted jazz leaders that include Aleksei Kuznetsov; Lembit Saarsalu; Nick Vintskevich; Samara Joy; Don Hahn, and Jason Clotter.
Leonid believes that every student is unique and therefore requires a unique approach. He takes time to carefully learn about students, their goals, interests and traits and then comes up with a teaching method and curriculum that fits each one. His overall goal as a teacher is to teach students how to learn., because as soon as they “learn to learn,” they can achieve anything.