Genres:New Age, Jazz - JazzPop/Light Jazz, Jazz - 20’s - 40’s, Pop - Adult Contemporary, Specialty - HumanDrama/Emotions, World - Middle Eastern, World - Klezmer, World - Ethnic Electronica, World - Eastern European
Virtuoso clarinetist LEO CHELYAPOV began playing the clarinet at the age of nine. He won first place in the Shostakovich Competition in Moscow at the age of twelve. From 1983 to 1987 he studied at the Moscow College of Musical Arts (Schnitke’s Institute) and graduated as a woodwind soloist, orchestra conductor, and music educator. While in the army from 1987 to 1989 he played in an air force orchestra as a first clarinet. After graduating from the Moscow College of Musical Arts and emigrating to Hollywood fifteen years ago, he has taken America by storm with his infusion of pure, traditional Jewish folk music into the fabric of American popular culture. Leo Chelyapov is a graduate of the Brandeis-Bardin Young Artists Program (1993). Currently he is on the adjunct music faculty of the Jewish American University. Every summer since 1994 he has given concerts at the City of West Hollywood's Summer Sounds concert series, Open House at the Hollywood Bowl, and Concerts-Under-the-Stars at the Brandeis-Bardin Institute. He has appeared on several TV shows including Beverly Hills 90210 , and the Chabad Telethon.
Chelyapov performed on the soundtrack for the Howard Stern film "Private Parts," and with the popular rock bands Porno for Pyros and The Red Hot Chili Peppers. He has also been featured on Late Night with David Letterman, MTV, and at Madison Square Garden (March 1997).
Leo Chelyapov is also an accomplished composer and arranger. He was commissioned to arrange a work entitled "Klezmer Dances" for the world famous Los Angeles Guitar Quartet. They have recorded this work with Chelyapov on the Sony Classical recording label and are performing it in concerts around the world. The CD is released in 1998. Chelyapov participated in classical radio program “Sundays at Four” in LACMA in 1995 which was dedicated to South American composers and was led by famous composer and conductor Lucas Richman.
Chelyapov's other performances include a series of five concerts at the University of Judaism with jazz luminaries Buddy Collette, Abe Most, Herb Jeffries and Bobby Rodriguez. In 2002 Leo performed at the Playboy Jazz Festival in Beverly Hills with his Hollywood Klezmer Jazz Quintet. In the summer 2004, at Ford Amphitheatre, Leo Chelyapov performed a world premiere of a brand new Clarinet Concerto with Los Angeles Jewish Symphony (conductor Noreen Green). The Concerto was written for Leo by American composer David Stern. Yale Strom interviewed Leo Chelyapov for the recently published Book of Klezmer. In December 2004 with his klezmer group Leo performed with Neil Sedaka at Wilshire Theater in Beverly Hills. Most recently,
Mr. Chelyapov played klezmer clarinet throughout entire soundtrack for unquestionably biggest Jewish American Film of the last year - Passover comedy “When Do We Eat?” by Salvador Litvak released in April 2006. Currently, Mr. Chelyapov is touring as a saxophonist/multi-instrumentalist with well-known Chassidic rock-band "8th Day".