A native of Denver, he began playing saxophone in junior high school. It was while listening to his father's recordings of jazz masters such as Miles Davis and Cannonball Adderley that he became intrigued with jazz. He attended the University of North Texas where he performed with the world renowned One O'clock Lab Band and played the Dallas scene with local tenor saxophone legends, James Clay and Marchel Ivery. After receiving his bachelor of Arts in music education, he was hired as the lead alto saxophonist for the Harry Connick, Jr. Orchestra and was appointed musical director five months later. It was on the road with Harry Connick, Jr. that Mr. Leali made his move to New York City. He is now a featured alto saxophone soloist with the Count Basie Orchestra under the leadership of Grover Mitchell. In 1999, the Count Basie Orchestra won a Grammy award for their CD,'Count play's Duke.' On this recording, Brad was also nominated for a Grammy for his solo work on the classic Billy Strayhorn composition,'The Star-Crossed Lover's.' He has performed nationally and internationally. A well-rounded musician, Mr. Leali has performed with such stellar musicians as Freddie Hubbard, Clark Terry, Joe Williams, Jimmy Cobb, Nancy Wilson, Frank Foster, Jon Hendricks, Roy Hargrove, The Mingus Big Band, Jack McDuff, George Duke, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Jimmy Smith, and Melvin Rhyne among others.
Mr Leali is currently residing in Brooklyn, New York. When not on tour with the Basie Band, Mr. Leali is playing in the New York Club scene fronting his own organ quartet.
'I want everyone to dig my music - not just the musicians.' Leali says. 'I want to bring soul into the music like say - Stanley Turrentine, Cannonball Adderley, Lee Morgan, David 'Fathead' Newman, Freddie Hubbard and Eddie 'Lockjaw' Davis. I want people to feel my music in their soul.'
'Brad Leali is one of the most promising and brightest young talents out here today. Check him out.'
'Brad is one of the important young saxophone players of the era.'
Grover Mitchell(Leader of the Count Basie Orchestra)
'A tremendous musical talent who can qualify for any musical setting where individual creativity is needed. I respect and admire him greatly.'
Dr. Frank B. Foster