Welcome To 2018

We hope you find a taste of paradise here at the official website of AJ Leonard, singer songwriter, recording artist, multi-instrumentalist and arranger.

A little bit of the aloha spirit goes a long way, as AJ has found on his world travels. Please take your time to have a look around the website and enjoy the sights and sounds of his world.

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LATEST NEWS

November 16-18

November 23

EAST COAST TOUR SEPT 7-26 2018

The uke/cello duo heads off this week for the annual east coast tour taking in Canberra, Ourimbah, Brisbane, Newcastle, Port Stephens and Wollongong. A few surprises in store. Check Calendar page for details.

April 17 2018

Making preparations for a big road trip to the Top End in July/August and hoping to include a performance at MUFF in Darwin. The Christmas Songbook sessions are continuing with David Billings with a planned release at the end of the year. 2017 photo highlights are now posted (see below) as well as the recent trip to Europe and Kauai from 2011 on Photos page.

 

PAST EVENTS

East Coast Tour 

September 2015

There were fewer stops and more extended stays on this sixth east coast tour. Extra curricular highlights included the Australian Native Botanical Gardens and the James Turrell Light Exhibition Canberra and a late afternoon rainbow at Collaroy Sydney brought on by unseasonal cold weather. A big thank you to our hosts in Canberra, Stanwell Park, Collaroy and The Entrance.




Return of Tropical Lounge 

August 2015

The 4 piece Tropical Lounge made a welcome return after a three year hiatus performing in the wonderfully atmospheric Castlemaine Steiner School hall.

The LuWow 

August 2015

This exotic and bizarre Tiki styled venue was the scene of a photo shoot and a performance. But the dressing room really takes the cake.


St Leonard's Videoshoot 

August 2015

A rather cool few days on the Bellarine Peninsula getting footage for two video clips with photographer Terry Chapman. The upside was a quite spectacular rainbow.

Benefit Concert for Nepal 

July 2015

On a cold winter night a good crowd attended this event in my old home town of Warrandyte. Performers included Kavisha Mazzella, Robbie Grieg, Matthew Arnold, Jenny Rowlands, with atmosphere provided by local lighting legend Hugh McSpedden. Photo courtesy of Dave Wayman.

Kuranda Ukulele BBQ 

July 2015

This inaugural event held at the Kuranda Amphitheatre was organized by FNQ's own Bosko & Honey and featured local performers and uke groups as well as Tasmania's Rose Turtle Ertler.

                                 Host Henri Hunsinger with Jenny Rowlands

Paradise Hotel Recording 

May/June 2015

A return to some tropicana meets exotica features original music and new interpretations of some classic tunes originally performed by artists such as Chet Atkins, Hank Snow, The Islanders, Perry Como and Bert Kaempfert. Instrumentation includes vibes (Craig Beard) , violin (Matthew Arnold) and cello (Jenny Rowlands).

DRUKE 

May 2015

Festival director Matthew Fagan chose a great venue, the Burrinja Cultural Centre for the inaugural Dandenong Ranges Ukulele Festival. The Saturday concert also featured Paul Jonson, Lucy Wise, Black Orchids String Band, Matthew Fagan and Tomoki Sato from Japan.

Mildura Wentworth Arts Festival 

March 2015 

The Mildura Wentworth Arts Festival is one of Australia’s leading regional arts festivals, recognised with Major Festival Status by Arts Victoria.  The festival offers a rich and vibrant program in March each year, of visual and performing arts, workshops, theatre, Big Screen outdoor cinema, music, exhibitions, parades and comedy – all in a diverse range of venues showcasing the unique landscape, natural beauty and rich heritage of the Mildura region.


 

New Zealand Tour 

November 2014

On the strength of a performance at Mairangi Bay in 2013, the duo was invited back to Auckland to headline the third annual Hibiscus Ukulele Convention held in Orewa. The return trip was confined to the north island taking in Auckland, the Coromandel Peninsula, Hamilton, Napier, Waipu Cove and the west coast north of Dargaville.  It was great to return to NZ and discover new parts of the north island and perform for new audiences. Things went more smoothly than last year (apart from customs but that’s another story) when I was afflicted with a hefty dose of laryngitis. This time around the duo was able to pull out all stops (play and sing) and give our Kiwi friends something to remember. Once again a special thank you to our hosts and organisers.


 

East Coast Tour Australia 

September-October 2014

Unlike previous east coast tours, this one actually began on the Sunshine Coast and gradually worked its way down. The tour included four new destinations –Bangalow, Pt Macquarie, The Entrance, Kiama and Ulladulla and new venues in Brisbane, Newcastle and Canberra. Two of these new events were festivals; the third annual Central Coast Ukulele Festival (The Entrance) and the second annual Folk By The Sea (Kiama) 

The duo with Jenny Rowlands premiered two new recordings, Sgt Peppers Lonely Ukes Club Band and Soft Lights and Sweet Music, both accompanied by our “high-tech” visual presentation. A new workshop aimed at all levels featured a holistic approach to learning the ukulele and included an original song called Barefoot With My Baby.
 
Many thanks to the festival organisers, club presidents and hosts and special mention to our support band in Bangalow, the Northern Rivers Uke Orchestra run by Stu Eadie. Also to our new friends and audiences we appreciate your encouragement and support.


 

Ukulele Retreat Australia, Albany WA 

April 18-22 2014

Another great time was had by all at the third Camp Quaranup ukulele retreat. This year's highlights included a high standard open mic night, meeting the Fong family from Hawaii and Utah and teaching, performing and jamming alongside Kimo Hussey, Jenny Rowlands, Sam & Lucy Lemann. Once again thanks to the organisers Kim Lofts, Adrian Gerson and Kathryn Young.



SCUF 2014 

March 14-16 2014

The inaugural SCUF (Sunshine Coast Ukulele Festival) was held at the Imbil Camping Ground next to a deer park, which jogged my memories of the late 1970's Michael Franks song "Meet Me In The Deer Park". There was a very unique communal atmosphere in this beautiful setting with the sole venue attended by all 500 members of the audience. Lynne and Geoff White did a superb job organising this fledgling event and intend on returning in 2015. Lineup included our North American friends Manitoba Hal, Jim D'Ville and Gideon Freudmann.
Jim D'Ville asks the question, "Mini golf anyone?"