Leon Russell

Leon’s wife, Jan Bridges, released the following statement:

“We thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers during this very, very difficult time. My husband passed in his sleep in our Nashville home. He was recovering from heart surgery in July and looked forward to getting back on the road in January. We appreciate everyone’s love and support.”

Leon’s last performance was July 10 in Nashville.

Known as "The Master Of Space And Time," Leon was a legendary musician and songwriter who performed his gospel-infused southern boogie piano rock, blues, and country music for more than 50 years.

Leon, born in Lawton, Okla., began as a nightclub piano player in Oklahoma at the age of 14, also backing touring artists when they came to town. Jerry Lee Lewis was so impressed with Leon that he hired him and his band for two years of tours.

He wrote Joe Cocker's "Delta Lady" and in 1969 put together Cocker's "Mad Dogs and Englishmen" tour, which spawned a documentary film and a hit double album.

As a musician, primarily a pianist, he played on The Beach Boys' "California Girls" and Jan and Dean's "Surf City." Leon also played guitar and bass.

Leon has also toured with Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, Edgar Winter, The New Grass Revival, Willie Nelson, Sir Elton John and performed with George Harrison and Friends at the Concert For Bangladesh.

Leon produced and played on recording sessions for Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra, Ike and Tina Turner, the Rolling Stones and many others.

He recorded hit songs himself like "Tight Rope" and "Lady Blue" and participated in "The Concert for Bangladesh." John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison played on his first album, Leon Russell.

His concerts often ended with a rousing version of "Jumpin' Jack Flash." In 1973, Billboard listed Leon as the top concert attraction in the world. About this time, he was the headline act on billings that included Elton John and at other times Willie Nelson.

In a 1992 interview with The Associated Press, Leon said music doesn't really change much. "It's cyclical, like fashion. You keep your old clothes and they'll be in style again sooner or later." There are new things, like rap. But that's a rebirth of poetry. It's brought poetry to the public consciousness."

He and Elton John released The Union, a critically received duo album in 2010.

Besides his music, Leon was known for his striking appearance: wispy white hair halfway down his back and that covered much of his face.

Leon relocated to Los Angeles in 1959, where he became known as a top musician, and later to Nashville.

In the early 2000s he began his own record label, Leon Russell Records. Leon was inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame and the Songwriter's Hall of Fame in 2011.

For more information on Leon Russell, visit leonrussellrecords.com or visit his official Facebook page.

Andrew Lipke

Andrew Lipke is a highly active artist, producer, songwriter, entertainer, and over-all member of the Philadelphia music scene.
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Born in South Africa, Andrew showed his musical prowess at an early age, starting piano lessons at 5 and later teaching himself the guitar. Immigrating to America in 1987, Lipke later moved to Philadelphia to earn a degree in Music Composition from the University of the Arts. He has released three acclaimed solo records, two under Drexel Universities' Mad Dragon Records.

In addition to his own music, Lipke is receiving praise in his expanding role as a record producer in his studio, The Record Lounge. Lipke also plays across the country in the renowned Led Zeppelin tribute band Get the Led Out and spends the rest of his time contributing to many diverse musical groups and projects in the Philadelphia area including sound design and original music for regional theater productions. His work has garnered him much critical acclaim and in 2007 he won the prestigious Barrymore Award for excellence in theatre.
He's due to release his fourth album "The Plague" this year and it's his most ambitious project yet. A song cycle of apocalyptic vignettes tied together by meticulously arranged string quartet material and lyrical themes steeped in the reanalysis of religious suppositions and the dissection of destructive dogma, The Plague somehow still manages to remain accessible and convey Lipke's unabashed love for pop music.

Andrew performs his music throughout the Philadelphia region with his band The Prospects and also with The Azrael String Quartet.

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