Cellist/Trombonist/Composer Dana Leong fuses hip-hop, jazz and electronics to create a signature boundless sound. Often referred to as a "hi-def Yo-Yo Ma," Mr. Leong's pioneering fusion of electronic music and ethereal jazz sensualities has garnered critical acclaim and wowed audiences worldwide. Whether as a virtuosic performer, composer, collaborator, or recording producer, he has worked with top artists including Dafnis Prieto, Ryuichi Sakamoto, DJ Spooky, Wynton Marsalis, Yoko Ono, and Kanye West, to name a few.
Described as crafting "lines of sublime lyric content" (Chicago Tribune), and "sizzling, highly stylized solos" (Philadelphia Inquirer), Mr. Leong was recently commissioned by Apollo Theater to create an evening-length music and video show entitled Life After Dark, which premiered to a sold out house, followed by performances at Joe's Pub and The Greene Space at WNYC in New York.
Mr. Leong has acted and performed on screen in a number of different settings such as Steven Spielberg's feature film The Terminal, Robin Williams' August Rush, NBC's Law & Order, The Today Show, and with The Roots' "Live at Wetlands." Mr. Leong has also performed for fashion shows including designers Alexandre Herchcovitch and Diane von Furstenberg.
An Asian-American artist of Chinese and Japanese descent, Mr. Leong studied classical cello and jazz trombone on double scholarships at Manhattan School of Music. As an official YAMAHA artist, Mr. Leong gives clinics and workshops around the globe on the use of electronics with cello and trombone, and his unique genre-bending composition techniques. danaleong.com
MILK & JADE by Dana Leong combines live grooves, electronically charged tracks, poetic rhyming, and impeccable artistry. Critics agree that this quartet has created a boundless signature sound. "Leong's combination of instruments and music tastes are unique, perhaps his live performance makes him stand out even more" (InTune Monthly). According to All About Jazz, "the songs find their origins in hip-hop, but this is no surprise. It is actually comforting that an artist of this generation has instilled his poetry with universal vision; a vision that permeates the state of art, music, race and the world."
The group has received worldwide acclaim performing sold out shows in Sweden, Italy, Germany, Finland, Slovenia, Serbia, Austria, Ireland, Mexico, Macau, and China. In 2008 the band served as an American musical ambassador overseas as part of The Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad program, produced by Jazz at Lincoln Center and the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. A popular addition to the festival and college music circuit, the band has performed at UCLA, Franklin & Marshall College, BAM, Harlem Stage, Huntington Arts Festival, Rochester Summer Arts Fest, Apollo Theater, National Geographic Society and more.
Dana Leong - cello/trombone/laptop/vocals
Jason Mills - drums
Hagar Ben Ari - electric bass
Core Rhythm - vocals (MC)
Johnny Voltik - vocals (MC)
Homeboy Sandman - vocals (MC)
MoeRoc - vocals (MC)
Tommy "Hypno" Chan - popper (dance)