Howard W. Leathers is a gifted, multi-talented Canadian trumpet player and singer. He specializes in multiple musical genres from big band, jazz and classical to world music forms such as West Indian, Bollywood and Moroccan.
Howard’s instrument of choice is the trumpet, Cornet, flugelhorn and Pocket trumpet. To add colors to his trumpet performances, he plays a variety of mutes such as Harmon mute, Plunger mute, cup mute, strait mute, and bucket mute. The mutes produce a rich, textured, multi-dimensional sound that brings a larger element of conversation to his playing. The result: one trumpet…many colors!
Howard obtained his Music degree at York University and his ARCT designation at the Royal Conservatory of Music. He also studied at Humber College and on scholarship in the George Brown College Orchestral Training Program, where he studied under renowned trumpet players from the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. He has also studied with Bram Smith, specializing in the solo works of Rafael Mendez. Bram was an international soloist who formed the Fanfare Brass for President John F. Kennedy. He has also studied voice (Speech Level Singing) with Bill Vincent.
Howard has performed at many of the best venues in Toronto including Roy Thompson Hall, Maple Leaf Gardens, Hamilton Place, the Carlu, the King Edward, the Rex, the Pilot, and The Old Mill Inn, where he has performed with local groups and musicians such as the TLC Jazz Trio, Starlight Orchestra, Matt Dusk and Colin Hunter.
Howard was an instructor in Morocco’s King Hassan 2nd Royal Moroccan Air Force Band. While teaching in Morocco he also taught private students in the international community. He is a trained and experienced singer of Jazz standards specializing in the music of the big bands and the American song book.
As a trumpet player and singer Howard has performed with musicians from North America, South America and Central America, the Caribbean, the Middle East Europe, Asia, and Africa. He has worked across Canada coast to coast from Vancouver Island to St. Johns Newfoundland, in the United States in New York Boston and Detroit, the Caribbean and North Africa as a soloist and section player.
Here is how Howard describes his musical influences:
“I have been greatly influenced by musical greats such as Bram Smith; J.B. Arban, Claude Gorden, Rafael Mendez and Allen Vizutti. All of these great teachers have taught the value of being a lifetime student of the trumpet and I am happiest when I can in return convey to others my excitement about the trumpet. This constantly refreshes my own playing and validates my own study. Great music and art constantly reveal new secrets. Vibrant curiosity is my best asset and I strive to encourage this in myself and others. This has led me to incorporate various forms of world music into my repertoire. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than to adapt my skills to the music of diverse cultures and sensibilities!”