In addition to becoming an impresario, Leonard recorded more than 100 bands in his home studio, including Canadian musical group The Beau-Marks and pop singers René Angélil and Patsy Gallant. In New York City in 1964, after booking Montreal band Bartholomew Plus 3, which he managed, at the Peppermint Lounge off Times Square, Leonard presented himself at Beltone Recording Studios off Broadway, played them some 45s he’d recorded in his home studio and promptly got a job.
Mastering the great Otis Redding
Leonard worked as second engineer on star-studded sessions at Beltone until he got his big break in 1965: He worked as the mastering engineer on the classic Otis Blue album by soul legend Otis Redding. He also recorded Dee Dee Warwick’s I Want To Be With You, a Billboard top 10 record.
By the late 1960s, Leonard had returned to Montreal to complete a degree at Sir George Williams. He was a dean’s honour student and member of the Garnet Key Society, a representative group of Concordia students who hold high academic standing and are involved in extracurricular activities.
A decade later, in 1979, Leonard established the Trebas Institute, which offers accredited academic programs in the recording arts and technologies, and the music business. Today, more than 20,000 students from around the world have graduated from Trebas campuses across North America, with Montreal as its head office.