Max Leake has been a part of jazz piano in Pittsburgh since the 1970s. He began his musical training at age six. By age 15, he worked with local Pittsburgh bands and backed up national acts in local supper clubs. At 18, Max traveled around the country with shows such as the “Ink Spots” and the “Marcels.” Max spent time playing in showbands in the Catskill Mountains of New York, backing up variety acts, comedians, and singers. He also cruised around the Western hemisphere as a house pianist in the showbands on many Princess Cruise ships.
In 1985 he released his self-produced album “Buns in the Sun” on Visionary Records, a record label started by Max and Mike Hurzon. Max has produced, composed, and recorded with dozens of other artists, including Tim Eyermann and East Coast Offering, Kenny Blake, Salsamba, Billy Price, and the Balcony Big Band.
Max has been recording, composing, arranging, and performing for 35 years with some of the best jazz and blues artists in the world, including Roger Humphries, Stanley Turrentine, Rick Margitza, Dwayne Dolphin, Henry Johnson, Rebecca Parris, Billy Price, Joe Negri, Sandy Staley, the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild Orchestra, Tommy Tedesco, David “Fathead” Newman, Don Latarski, Al Dowe and Etta Cox, and the Balcony Big Band, to name a few. He was voted “Best Jazz Keyboardist” in the “In Pittsburgh” music awards in 1989, 1991, and 1995.
Max began composing and performing music for websites, videos, planetarium shows, and CD-ROMs for various advertising and multimedia production companies with his own home-based music production company. He is currently a multimedia developer for the WISER Institute, a medical simulation education facility, and actively performs, composes, arranges, and produces live performances, multimedia, and recordings.