Leo Freire is a Brazilian born, New York City based drummer, music director, producer, and educator. His touring experience has included shows in some of the most prestigious festivals and venues throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. These experiences have resulted in a growing expertise in creating Ableton Live controlled rigs for both performance backing tracks and for integrating pads, triggers, and other electronic instruments into live show setups. He has worked and collaborated with artists live and/or in-studio including:
Wheatus (multi-platinum with "Teenage Dirtbag")
Darryl “DMC” McDaniels (Run DMC)
Viktor Király (Hungary No. 2 Top 40)
Kate Nauta (Transformer 2)
Fly By Midnight
Hypodive (Fieldhouse/ BMG)
My World (BMG)
Mike Doughty (Soul Coughing)
In March 2020, at the height of the Covid-19 crisis, Leo released a "virtual jam" video series where he edited a montage of himself playing drums to a video of legendary Queen guitarist Brian May. The video went viral, receiving an endorsement from Brian May himself, and shared on the official Queen social media accounts to more than 10 million followers. Leo's "virtual jam" video idea subsequently inspired hundreds of other submissions from music fans around the world "virtual jamming" with the Queen guitarist. Soon after, Leo filmed himself playing keyboards and piano to a video of Queen drummer Roger Taylor - and it was also shared by both the legendary drummer and the official Queen social media accounts to over 9 million fans worldwide.
As a composer, producer, and studio musician, Leo's work has been extensively showcased. He was credited a recording engineer role, in addition to drumming and singing on the 20th anniversary re-release of Wheatus' iconic debut album - which premiered with an April 2020 write-up on Rolling Stone magazine. Furthermore, Leo was featured as a composer and performer on the original soundtrack of the 2017 feature documentary "Black and White Stripes: The Juventus Story" (No. 1 in the Italian Box Office). His versatility was again highlighted in his selection as the only drummer to appear on the Flatbush Zombies album release " Vacation in Hell" - which reached no. 9 in the Billboard US Hip Hop/R&B Albums.
In recent years, Leo has enjoyed a prolific live touring schedule. Recent tours have included the 37 date 2019 Wheatus Spring World Tour, through the UK, Germany, Netherlands, and South Africa and the 20 date 2018 Wheatus UK/Ireland tour, featuring a full direct support Theater run opening for British band "A". Furthermore, he was also the drummer for the 39 date 2017 Wheatus UK/ European tour, which included 7 countries and ended with a performance at the 2017 Isle of Wight Festival. Other touring highlights have included drumming on Wheatus' 2016 18 date Arena tour supporting UK group Busted, which featured sold-out performances at some of the world's biggest selling venues such as the O2 Arena London, Glasgow SSE Hydro, Manchester Arena, and Wembley Arena. He was also a member of the 42 date 2015 Wheatus 15th anniversary European tour, in which he played drums for both headlining and support artists Wheatus and Mike Doughty, headlining festivals in Germany and Ireland, while also appearing on the Ray D'Arcy show, broadcasted to 500 thousand viewers, and featured live on Ireland's premiere TV network RTÉ One.
Leo is also a passionate educator and frequently collaborates with educational institutions while expanding his private lesson studio, working with students of all ages. He completed his Masters of Arts in K-12 Music Education at Hunter College in 2015, being the recipient of the Agnes Duffy graduation prize for academic merit. As an undergraduate student, he graduated from the Macaulay Honors Program at Hunter College and was the sole recipient of the Libbie Van Arsdale Memorial Prize for outstanding achievement in music.