Leo MacKenzie is a singing cellist and is unique in using the baroque cello to accompany his own voice. Drawing on an eclectic mix of styles and almost two decades of live performance, he is now embarking on his first solo project. His cello playing leans into previously lost techniques and the mellow warm sound of the baroque cello, reviving and refreshing fascinating insights hidden in historical treatise and updating them for modern performance. Leo explores the rich treasure trove of the British folk song tradition whilst also being inspired by the music and song of our Scandinavian neighbours.
Leo has been performing as a cellist and singer for over 17 years, appearing regularly as a member of indie and folk bands including The Last Inklings, Kadia and Fearne. Highlights from his time with these bands include an Official UK Folk Chart Top 40 album with The Last Inklings and an inclusion in the Telegraph Top Folk Albums of the Year list with Kadia, along with numerous festival performances including being invited to join the legendary Brian McNeill Session at Cambridge Folk Festival. As a session musician he has often appeared as part of the Ninebarrow Band alongside John Parker and Evan Carson, featuring on a number of albums with the ensemble.
Leo works for Sistema Scotland at Big Noise Torry in Aberdeen as a cello and double bass tutor. He is also a tutor at Scottish Culture and Traditions Youth, providing inclusive Scottish traditional music opportunities to young people from 6 to 26.