Howard “Humberto” Léder is the founder of World Blue Records.
HOWARD “HUMBERTO” LÉDER, “legendary jazz producer”….Planetworks International
Born and raised in New York City to Second World War European immigrants. At an early age he taught himself to play music he overheard from vinyl recordings, tv, and radio onto an upright piano. As his musical tastes developed, he became fascinated with and began to improvise music using harmonies and blues and chromatic scales picked from recordings of Errol Garner, Nat King Cole and Louis Armstrong.
At age 19, he initiated in earnest, a lifelong passion for appreciation and insight into music theory, history, orchestration. Danny Carillo, then a trombone player in CCNY’s jazz orchestra and later guitarist/arranger and musical director for Harry Belafonte, recommended him to his first professional gigs with Latin orchestras in the South Bronx and Spanish Harlem. The 70’s were tough economic times in NYC, so the band purchased a Farfisa organ for him in an Eighth Avenue pawn shop, and the music they performed emanated from the beginnings of “Salsa”.
Most notably, Mr. Léder was privileged to having legendary mentors: jazz pianist/composer Jaki Byard; music historian Ira Gitler; Pulitzer Prize electronic music composer Mario Davidovsky; Latin/Salsa pianist icon, Charlie Palmieri; French music critic/author/historian, Andre Hodeir; and “third stream” jazz great, Gunther Schuller.
Between 1974 and 1976, during a stint teaching music through periods of school desegregation busing riots in the Boston Public Schools, he was also hired to record large and small ensembles in the Boston area for a variety of private labels, musicians and institutions.
Returning to NY in order to continue his connection with the city’s multiplicity of musicians from all over the world, and with particular interest in its African, Carribean, S. American and jazz cultures.
…he took an office job with Tomato Records (c. recording artists Albert King, John Cage , Clifton Chenier, John Cage, and Townes Van Zandt);
…and Electric Lady Studios offered him studio time to experiment, create and develop some studio chops.
By 1979 he recorded and produced Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances for Two Pianos, a Mozart Camarata Piano Concerto, and the Paul Price Percussion Ensemble with pianist Joshua Pierce, under his own Penumbra Records label;
That year, Mr Léder met blues legend B.B. King in Phoenix, AZ while B.B. was on tour. They talked about post production ideas for a live concert recorded in Oxford, Mississippi a year earlier. “Now Appearing at Ole Miss” (MCA Records) was released in 1980. “When I’m Wrong” was nominated for a Best R&B Instrumental Grammy Award.
Other credits through the years include work with; Jon Lucien; Ron Carter; Hilton Ruiz; Geri Allen; Peter Washington; Luther Vandross; Grady Tate; Chris Botti; Romero Lubambo; Cyro Baptista; Nilson Matta; Bakhiti Kumalo; Anton Fig; Nana Vasconcelos; David Sanchez; Doc Powell; Horacee Arnold; Buster Williams; Antoine Roney; George Colligan; Vic Juris; The N.Y. Virtuosi Chamber Symphony Orchestra; etc.
Current projects include: bassist Nilson Matta’s EastSideRioDrive slated for release April 28, 2015; percussionist Willie Martinez with members from the great Tito Puente orchestra; tenor saxophonist/composer Antoine Roney and percussion prodigy Kojo Udu Roney. Mr Léder is also developing a Broadway jukebox musical “Lollypops” featuring the music of Rock&Roll Hall of Fame songwriting icon Beverly Ross and based on her autobiography “I Was The First Woman Phil Spector Killed”. He is founder and producer of the Friars Club Jazz Masters series in NYC., most recently its tribute to Robert DeNiro and Carlos Slim which included performances by Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, and Sting.
Mr Léder has a Harvard University fellowship and completed post graduate work at Emory University and the New England Conservatory of Music.