Leo Sidran

Musician, producer, podcast host

Official website for multi instrumentalist musician, producer and podcast host Leo Sidran. 

I'm a multi instrumentalist musician, producer, arranger, composer, recording artist, and podcast host.

I was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin, which is sometimes referred to as 70 square miles surrounded by reality. My father, Ben Sidran, another multifaceted music man, provided my early musical sustenance. My mother, a weaver and travel agent, provided texture and safe passage.

I got my start writing songs professionally as a teenager when the Steve Miller Band recorded four of my songs for their 1993 Wide River album. My father was working with Miller at the time, which is how I made the connection, but even then, at the ripe old age of 15, I was interested in production. So, Steve invited me to play keyboards, guitars and drums on the record. 

Subsequently, I attended the University of Wisconsin to study History and Spanish. During a year abroad living in Spain, I fell in love with Spanish music, and after college I spent quite a bit of time back and forth between Madison and Madrid. During that time, I developed a strong relationship with several Madrid- based "Latin alternative" artists like Jorge Drexler and Ana Laan. Years later, I co-produced the Academy Award Winning song, "Al Otro Lado Del Rio" from the film The Motorcycle Diaries for Jorge Drexler in 2005. 

After the Oscar win, I made a move to Brooklyn and not only started producing records for other artists, but also composing music for film and television commercials amassing a catalog of 100s of major TV ads for clients like Coca-Cola, Visa, Lincoln, McDonalds, Stella Artois, Ford, Garnier and a dozen film scores for outlets such as ESPN, Discovery, IFC, Sundance, and PBS. 

In addition, around this time, I started a small label called Nardis Music with my dad releasing our solo projects, as well as some projects that we produced for other artists, like Clyde Stubblefield (James Brown's original funky drummer). I have produced all of Ben Sidran's records for the last decade.

I’ve also continued to work with Latin artists, including Alex Cuba (I co-produced the Latin Grammy winning “Healer” album with him), Kevin Johansen (I co-produced the Latin Grammy nominated “Mis Americas Vol. ½”), and Marlango.

As a drummer, I’ve played and recorded with jazz luminaries including Phil Woods, Howard Levy, David Fathead Newman, Clark Terry and Dave Grusin, and as an engineer I’ve recorded projects ranging from jazz great Mark Murphy to British duo Massive Attack.

To round out my penchant for curating the music I love, I launched a podcast called The Third Story featuring interviews with musicians, producers, songwriters, and other friends in the creative class about their personal stories and professional journeys. 

Finally, I’ve released five solo records, most recently “Mucho Leo” (2014) and “Entre Chien Et Loup – Live in Meudon” (2016). My new project “Cool School (The Music of Michael Franks)” will be released in Spring, 2018.

I live in Brooklyn with my wife, our daughter, and a 12 pound poodle.