island entertainment presents
Gus Leighton is an Australian contemporary tenor saxophonist based in Hobart, Tasmania. Growing up listening to various music, Gus soon developed an affinity with the sounds of jazz and country music, which significantly impacted his career.
Gus’ improvisational and compositional language is heavily influenced by Lester Young, Dexter Gordon, Stan Getz and Wayne Shorter. These four saxophonists have become the focus of Gus’ PhD research which is currently being undertaken at the University of Tasmania.
Gus is a well-respected saxophonist, composer, arranger and bandleader of ‘Uncle Gus and The Rimshots’, ‘The Gus Leighton Quartet’ and 'The Greenrises Jazz Orchestra'. Outside of his own projects, Gus performs at various festivals/events as both a leader and accompanist - notably accompanying Dami Im at the Festival of Voices Big Sing Bonfire in 2019 and Andrew O'Keefe for the Hobart show of Andrew O'Keefe 'Shouts' Johnny O'Keefe.
Other artists Gus has supported at various events include Crooked Colours, The Wolfe Brothers, Mark Trevorrow (Bob Downe), John O'Hara, Henry Waggons, Mighty Duke, and The Lords.
In 2020 Gus was selected to be the Musical Director of the 2020 Virtual Big Sing Bonfire for Festival of Voices and has served as musical director of various other projects in Tasmania. in 2020, Gus was also the recipient of the Jack Duffy Memorial award presented by the Hobart Jazz Club and the Musician's Union of Tasmania for his musical ability and what he gives back to the greater jazz community. In 2021 Gus was presented with funding by the Clarence City Council to produce a commissioned piece for the 2022 Clarence Jazz Festival to be played at the debut gig of 'The Greenrises Jazz Orchestra'; a 16-piece- an ensemble that performs Gus's original compositions.
Under his own projects, Gus has released 4 albums in the past 4 years. These are:
Carrington - The Gus Leighton Quartet
Chilli Con Carnage - Uncle Gus and the Rimshots
Uncle Gus and The Rimshots Live in the Founder's Room
The Gus Leighton Quartet Live
Outside of these public performances and recordings, Gus also regularly performs with DJs. His high-octane stage presence and crowd work have seen him become a regular performer at festivals and weddings in Tasmania and entertaining clients at corporate events around the country.
Gus's achievements have been recognized outside of Australia, earning him endorsements with Syos Mouthpieces (France) and Bari Woodwind Inc (USA).
Gus is making a name for himself on the Australian music scene as a hardworking, passionate musician who brings unbridled energy, creativity, and enthusiasm to any project he is involved in.