Sam has led bands at most of the best-known venues in the UK including Ronnie Scotts, PizzaExpress Jazz Club and Kings Place. As a sideman he has performed with musicians including Ray Warleigh and Anita Wardell and has appeared on many albums, including the critically well received album 'Road Ahead' by Duncan Eagles/Mark Perry. He has been the pianist of choice for US touring musicians including Arun Luthra (tour in 2012), Leah Gough-Cooper ('LOCUS' tours in 2013/2014 tour) and Cameron Outlaw (The Outlaw Collective - tour in 2011). More recently he was a member of of drummer Ollie Howell's band, as the first band in residence at Quincy Jones' new Jazz club 'Q's' in Dubai. Sam has composed a number of extended suites for various ensembles including: his big band, a quintet , and a piano duet with US pianist Dan Tepfer. He also co-leads a heavy-touring quartet with saxophonist Alex Merritt, and another piano duet with Richard Fairhurst. Outside of his profession as a musician he is undertaking a part-time PhD in Music Cognition at Cambridge University where he is investigating the possibility that Absolute Pitch might be learnable by adults. He is also a lecturer at Middlesex University.
Sam Leak is a London-based Jazz pianist described by JazzFM's Helen Mayhew as 'One of the brightest stars in the Jazz piano galaxy, a heavenly improviser, and a brilliant prospect for the future.'
He is most widely known for his band 'Aquarium', for which he is both pianist and composer. Also featured are James Allsopp on Reeds, Joshua Blackmore on Drums, and Calum Gourlay on Double Bass. They have released two albums: their eponymous debut on the Babel Label in 2011, listed in MOJO Magazine as one of the 'Top Ten International Releases of the Year," and their follow up album 'Places' on 'Jellymould Jazz' in 2013. Both have received widespread critical acclaim and regular radio play nationally. John Fordham described ‘Places’ in the Guardian as 'surefooted creativity... way beyond respectful expertise' and Daniel Spicer described it in BBC Music Magazine as ‘assured and sophisticated acoustic jazz with deep roots in the tradition, that knows exactly what it's trying to do - and succeeds.’ Jamie Cullum introduced Aquarium as ‘the heavyweights of the British Jazz scene’ and described himself as a ‘fan’ of the band in his regular BBC broadcast. As a sideman he has performed internationally alongside musicians including Greg Hutchinson, and Ray Warleigh.