With an instrumental maturity and personality that contradict his young age and shows confidence upon his entrance into the jazz scene, Ryan Leppich emanates a high level of promise and commitment to the art form he loves.
Beginning drums at the age of 11, he instantly found his passion for jazz. Ryan made the top jazz ensemble his freshman year of high school, and participated in several honor bands including the Music Works Northwest Honor Band, and the All-Northwest Jazz Band. Throughout high school, Ryan had played at nationally recognized venues including Rose Hall at Lincoln Center in NYC, the Paramount Theater, and Jazz Alley in Seattle.
Leppich has also competed in many national jazz festivals including; Essentially Ellington (NY) where the band finished 5th, along with an award for Ryan as an Outstanding Soloist and Outstanding Rhythm Section member; Swing Central (GA) where the band finished 3rd; Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival (ID); Clark College Jazz Festival (WA) where Ryan received an award for Outstanding Soloist; Newport (WA); Disneyland (CA).
At age 20, Ryan has had the pleasure and honor of performing with many international jazz artists including; David Liebman, Gary Smulyan, Alex Sipiagin, Greg Gisbert, Sheila Jordan, Cuong Vu, Rich Perry, Tamir Hendelman, Christoph Luty and Aaron Parks.
Ryan has also had the privilege of working intimately with artists through workshops and private lessons. Some of these artists include Ron Carter (alto), Justin Dicioccio, Wycliffe Gordon, Javon Jackson, Ingrid Jensen, Adam Larson, Wynton Marsalis, Christian McBride, Dan Miller, Dan Nimmer, Ulysses Owens Jr., Marcus Printup, Bria Skonberg and Terrell Stafford.
Having a mentor and role model is something very important to a musician’s development and improvement, and Ryan considers himself very lucky to have known the legendary Jeff Hamilton for so long. Their relationship began when Ryan was only 15, and has continued strong to this day. From working intimately in a combo setting, to private lessons and even performing a brush duet with him, Ryan credits a lot of his growth to Mr. Hamilton. Ryan has also been lucky enough to study privately with drummers like Jim White, Chris Smith, Garey Williams, Bryan Carter, Michael Shrieve and Steve Smith.
He is now attending the University of Northern Colorado, majoring in Music Performance: Drumset Jazz Studies. As a part of UNC's Jazz Lab Band 1, Ryan performed the world premier of The Romeo and Juliet Project. This special suite was a musical re-imagination of the classic Shakespeare play, commissioned just for UNC under the direction of Dana Landry. As a part of this world-renowned collegiate jazz ensemble, the band was named the winner of the 2017 Best Large Jazz Ensemble in the Graduate College category for the 40th annual Downbeat Student Music Awards.
Ryan's most recent project was the recording New Angle, released on June 23rd on the Outside In Music label, with the All Angles Orchestra featuring Alex Sipiagin and Kenyon Brenner. This project features a 15-piece band, with a unique instrumentation that combines equal parts classical and jazz, creating a new cross-genre sound.
When he isn't drumming or listening to music, Ryan loves to spend time outdoors hiking and running with his friends and family. He is also an avid Seattle Sounders and Seattle Seahawks fan.