Carl Sonny Leyland

New Cuyama, California
Updated 4/4/2005

Born in the south of England in 1965, Carl Sonny Leyland took up piano at age 15. His inspiration was the Boogie Woogie music of Albert Ammons, Pete Johnson & Meade Lux Lewis. Fascinated by this style, Leyland traced it back to itís Barrelhouse roots, incorporating the stylings of Jimmy Yancey, Cow Cow Davenport, Little Brother Montgomery and other notables into his own playing.

In 1988, Leyland left England, moving to New Orleans where he lived for ten years before moving to Orange, California. Leyland has toured in Europe and the United States as a solo act and with bands such as Anson Funderburgh and the Rockets and Big Sandy and His Flyrite Boys.

Over the years Leyland has been active in various musical genres including blues, western swing, rockabilly and more recently, traditional jazz. However, it is the Boogie and barrelhouse piano that first inspired him, that remains  his favorite music and the style Leyland loves most to play. In addition to this, Leyland is also able to sing the blues convincingly and without recourse to parody or undue imitativeness. The ability to recreate obscure and primitive styles present in the genre of barrelhouse, blues and Boogie Woogie, combined with the originality and soulfulness of his own music, makes him one of todayís most exciting pianists.