Leonardo Emanuel Martins Cioglia was born in 1971 in the city of Brasília, Brazil, where his music studies began when he was seven years old. In 1980 he joined the Escola de Música de Brasília (EMB), where he was selected to participate in the children's choir that performed on the first Opera seasons of Brasília. At 14 years of age, after a pause from his studies at the EMB, Leonardo started playing electric-bass, having performed with various rock bands of his home town. In 1987, he returned to the EMB where, for the first time, he was exposed to an acoustic-bass.
In 1989, during an exchange program to Canada, Leonardo participated in a jazz festival and won a scholarship to study at Berklee College of Music. In 1991, he moved to Boston, where, in 1995, he graduated from Berklee with a degree in Professional Music. Upon graduating he formed Quizamba Music a production company dedicated to contemporary Brazilian music. That same year, he formed the Brazilian Jazz-Funk group Zabumbatuq and produced their first CD for Quizamba Music just prior to organizing the group's Swiss tour. Between 1996 and 1998 while in Boston, he produced and participated in various recordings including the sound track to the motion picture Next Stop Wonderland.
In 1998 after working extensively in the Boston music scene with his group as well as with the finest musicians in that area, Leonardo enrolled at Emerson College from where he graduated in 2001 with a Masters in Visual and Media Arts. While at Emerson he acted as Jazz coordinator for WERS 88.9 FM where he also hosted a weekly Brazilian Music radio show called Terra Brasilis. In 1999 with his Masters not yet completed, he was hired by Volatile Media in New York City, where he moved, to create the latin/world and jazz/blues catalogs for the custom compilation CD website, EZCD.com. In 2001 Leonardo left Volatile Media, graduated from Emerson College and returned to music full time.
Leonardo then re-established Quizamba as a Contemporary Brazilian Jazz group with whom he performs regularly in the New York area. For the past two years Leonardo has also performed and/or recorded with numerous A list musicians such as Jimmy Cobb, Claudio Roditi, Paulo Moura, Duduka Da Fonseca, Maucha Adnet, Vic Juris, Hendrik Meurkens, Cliff Korman, Rob Bargad, Dave Pietro, George Schuller, John Ellis, Aaron Goldberg, Chiara Civello, Alain Mallet, Helio Alves, Guilherme Monteiro and Anat Cohen to name a few.
"Leonardo E.M. Cioglia is a musician that demands your concentration. You can't allow yourself to be caught off guard during the first listen, for if you do, you may miss all of the little things, the silences, the influx of notes, that this guy is able to put into his music."
"The songs themselves are audio illustrations of a Brazil most people aren't aware of, and Cioglia allows the characters in his songs to dance in a way that might not be possible in the real world."
"These are stories that are worth returning to many times over, those who take it in as a personal favorite will find new things within the music with every listen."
The Run Off Groove: by John Book
"Providing a fresh new approach to Brazilian music.... ....Cioglia, takes Brazilian music in a more contemporary and modern direction.... ....a terrific session of music that will transform your view of Brazilian music forever.
Contos delivers an interesting and unique perspective to Brazilian music which Leonardo E.M. Cioglia re-defines within the context of modern contemporary jazz."
ejazznews.com: by Edward Blanco
"Contos is lively, thoughtful, and full of surprises. Its composer, Leonardo E. M. Cioglia, has created some intriguing jazz motifs that will linger in your mind long after the last playing of the CD. Every performer shares his vision in a memorable blending of sound and innovation."
jazzreview.com: by Lee Prosser
"His music is full of magic, and his compositions are full of the mystery of life... ...one of the best bass-led groups I've heard in many years. The players meld together in almost "orchestral" fashion throughout this wonderful album."
zzaj.freehostia.com: by Dick Metcalf, aka Rotcod Zzaj
"Cioglia knows how to deliver the goods... The kind of cat that makes you feel like always making him welcome, there’s a lot going on here and all of it good."
Midwest Record: by Chris Spector, Editor and Publisher
"Contos is an inimitable kind of record that engages you right away, and yet there is so much going on under the hood, in terms of both harmonics and presentation. Each succeeding listen---even the twentieth one---sounds as fresh as the first one. That's the mark of a musician who composes songs of real depth and beauty."
blogcritics.org: by Pico