"La musique de Leandro Guffanti sait idéalement marier l'authenticité de ses multiples racines. Leandro en plus d'être un excellent saxophoniste ténor et soprano, est aussi un fantastique conteur d'histoires qui nous touche par la vérité de ses très belles mélodies. Mélodies orchestrées avec talent et développées avec beaucoup d'inspiration" - Florent Milhaud
"Leandro Guffanti's music knows how to ideally marry the authenticity of his multiple roots. Leandro, in addition to being an excellent tenor and soprano saxophonist, is also a fantastic storyteller who touches us with the truth of his beautiful melodies. Melodies orchestrated with talent and developed with a lot of inspiration" - Florent Milhaud
Leandro Guffanti was born in 1967 in Buenos Aires. At six months old, he took off for Havana where his parents decided to join the Castro revolution. His father danced in the Cuban National Ballet and his mother was an actress. From this first exile, only fleeting memories remain today: the sea, the kindergarten, the warmth and the music, omnipresent, his only country after all.
His parents separate. He returns to Argentina with his mother. Return to Gualeguay, province of Entre Rios, Argentinean Mesopotamia. It is a place out of time, landlocked between two powerful rivers, the Parana and the Uruguay. It is a generous land like the men and women who live there. Here, we run barefoot in the streets, we bathe in muddy waters, we share maté, and music: chamamé. At 9 years old, it's still a start. Direction Buenos Aires.
In the summer of his 15th birthday, he meets his father in Italy who offers him his first saxophone. Back in Argentina, it was stolen... It's the end of music. Two years later, he obtains his diploma as a master builder and sets his sights on a career as an architect.
It was then that his father offered to join him in Europe. It was in Rome that he really began his music studies, at the popular school of Testaccio. These were decisive years: he discovered jazz, and Massimo Urbani, Bob Berg and Steve Grosman saw him following it. From then on, he will never let go of his instrument again.
It was at the Amsterdam Conservatory that he decided to perfect his musical training. He is 23 years old. He worked odd jobs, conservatory and jams. He has already lived in four countries and speaks five languages. But he is also caught up by a reality: he is South American and his Italian passport doesn't change anything. That's when he understood that he was exiled, an immigrant, he would never stop going back to his roots.
Paris offers him this chance. He arrived in the capital in 1994. Salsa was in full swing. Leandro soon joined the group of Cuban pianist Alfredo Rodriguez, he played with Orlando Poleo, Angà Diaz, Raúl Paz and met Minino Garay. This meeting is a turning point because he finds again a musical family and heart. Since then Leandro has made France his adopted country and it is here that he has matured a music that resembles this rich and singular journey.
At the same time, he is leading a career as a sideman alongside Cheb Khaled and Julieta Venegas, two artists who, like him, are at the crossroads of several cultures.
In 2008, he decided to return to Argentina to introduce his children to his country. Reconnecting with his country, with its history, also means reconnecting with musicians. Resuming the thread of a story interrupted twenty years earlier. He then set up a quartet which played and then recorded in Buenos Aires. It is from this very strong life experience that his first album was born: Once.
Photo credit: Mario Guerra - Gloria Cruz Ruiz