Mark Christopher Brandt
Duo Pieces with Guitarist Dan Leonard
Free Downloads Here!
In 1993, before opening my own private instruction studio in my home, I was teaching at a music studio in Chantilly, Virginia. One of the guitar teachers who taught there was a gifted artist by the name of Dan Leonard. One day to my surprise, he asked if he could get with me for some lessons. I was surprised because he was already very popular in the tri-state area and he was definitely one of the most sought-after teachers as well. I agreed to teach him but within a few sessions I said to him, “Dan, you should not be taking lessons from me. We should be collaborating together. How would you like to work on a project with me?”
This partnership became one of the single most beautiful and incredible gifts God could ever have bestowed upon me. Dan and I were like a duck to water, clouds to the sky, harmony to melody, melody to rhythm, etc., etc., etc! If I heard it, he could play it. If I wrote it, he delivered it. If I gave him only chord changes (in any style or genre), he improvised solos that were melodic - even symphonic -gems, never to be duplicated. Is it possible to write everything I can think about this multi-faceted, multi-gifted guitarist and this amazing musical relationship which produced four Cd's and a DVD? I think not!
In August 2016, after performing at Twins Jazz Club in Washington, D.C., Dan and I went our separate ways. He adopted a son and decided that it was not wise to remain immersed in the demands of constantly having to create and practice new material and seek out new challenges musically, when he would have to do all of that in the human realm in order to be a good and loving father. As a father myself, I agreed with him completely.
Mark and Dan, Washington D.C. 2016
Dan and Mark 1997
Dan and Mark photo recreation 2014
Thus a wonderful musical relationship gave way to the beautiful and musical beginning of life in a father and a son. As for mine and Dan’s progeny, people are still purchasing and listening to the music we made together and this makes me very happy. We were on again and off again from 1993 until 2016. In all that time not one disagreement nor one discord occurred. How few are these gems in the lives of humans? Fewer still in the life and career of an artist.
Visit my You Tube channel and sit in on The Visit Dan and I shared prior to recording our Round Trip CD. Click here to see what Dan had to say about working with me! See the links below for FREE sheet music downloads of our guitar and piano duo pieces. Visit my store for more!
God bless you Dan! You are a true artist and a phenomenally beautiful human being! Thank you for years of joy in music making and most of all thanks for being you!
I thank you Almighty God for the gift of Dan Leonard in my life. Amen.
Free sheet music for piano and guitar from Round Trip 2014
The Doctor Is In
A Moment of Peace
The Shore at Night
Free sheet music for piano and guitar from Joie de Vivre 2015
Joie de Vivre Reprise