Leigh Pilzer is a member of DIVA, the Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra, and the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra. She is a versatile freelancer, performing with groups ranging from the National Symphony Orchestra to small jazz combos.
Leigh is an accomplished arranger, whose work has been recorded by DIVA for the 2014 Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular, A Swingin’ Life (2014), Special Kay (2016), and the 25th Anniversary CD (2017). Her arrangements are also in the libraries of many college and professional big bands and brass quintets.
She holds a BM in Jazz Composition and Arranging from Berklee, MMs in Jazz Studies and Saxophone Performance from University of Maryland, and has taught at Maryland and at Towson University. Additional graduate work includes study with the late Dr. Steven G. Strunk at the Catholic University of America. Leigh is currently working towards a Doctor of Muusical Arts in Saxophone Performance with a jazz emphasis at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA.
Strunkin’, Leigh’s debut CD as a leader, was released in 2016. The recording also features DIVA and 3Divas members Jen Krupa, Sherrie Maricle, Amy Shook, and Jackie Warren.
“She is her own player, engaging in her own right and successfully so as this recording illustrates.”
—Robert Rusch, Cadence Magazine
“She improvises with fluency and panache.”
“Gruff and punchy, keeping to the low end, Pilzer’s got plenty to say.”
—Michael J. West, Washington CityPaper