John Leysner was born in Suriname, (South America) a small country at the Northern part of South America which borders Brazil to the South. He grew up with his siblings and was living with his mother and his great grandmother, where both were acting in the role of both, Mother and Father at the same time.

His musical expedition started from the moment he could walk. In his country of birth, it is very common that  (traditional) music bands are performing at birthday parties. There were a lot of these parties since the Family consists of many family members. That was like a magical and indescribable experience for little John, who was always standing “hypnotized” in front of the bands at each of the parties and at the same time trying to imagine and to understand, how the musicians were able to easily bring music into Life and how they were able to synchronize together as a team.

Since then, he wanted to become a Musician. At home his mother was listening to old soul music, from artists/bands such as Otis Redding, Swamp Dog, Sam Cook, Al Green, Billy Preston, Bobby Womack, Gospel singer Mahalia Jackson and many more. What made it even more interesting is that his older brother was listening to Earth wind and Fire, George Benson, The eagles, the Commodores, Grover Washington jr, Michael Franks, Curtis Mayfield, Al Jarreau and many more. And if that was not enough, the neighbors had albums from the great Bob Marley, the radio played music from the USA, Latin America, the Caribbean area and Europe. A lot of good inspiration and motivation for a little boy.

At the age of seventeen he moved to the Netherlands where he bought his first acoustic guitar and started following classic guitar lessons. His new friends in the Netherlands were listening to rock music which was kind of new to him. Soon enough he discovered that the first four strings of the guitar are the same as on a bass guitar. He started jamming (Rock, Reggae, funk) with his new friends where of course there was no room for a classic guitar, and soon he purchased his first bass guitar. After some time of practicing on the bass guitar, John put together his first band and then started to perform in Rotterdam which became his new hometown. The soul funk and later Jazz music were of course remained in his DNA.

Miles Davis, Stanley Clarke, Herbie Hancock, Charlie Parker, Jaco Pastorius, Weather Report, John Coltrane, Marcus Miller and more of these famous musicians, gave John a different view of music, and the Rotterdam conservatory where he studied to become a better musician. With this new information and new knowledge, which he further developed, he continued exploring and started to perform in theaters and International festivals, with different music bands, playing several music styles, from Motown, Fusion Jazz to Afro Caribbean music.

Three years ago, John put a new band together called “John Leysner and the soulmates”, where he sings and plays the Bass. This seven-headed energetic soul/funky jazzy formation, plays original songs composed by the founder, and some well-known covers (in a new jacket).

Instruments used in the band are: Drums, Keys, MalletKat, Guitar, Saxophone, Trumpet and Trombone.

With decades of experience, in the last three years of his musical career, John has started recording his first album, which he will release when the time is suitable.


23.09.2020 – Teater Boto in Sopot

Sopot, Powstańców Warszawy 90 (Park Północny)

Filharmonia Baltycka

Scena Muzyczna Gdansk



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