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.