Leif Vollebekk

(Montreal, QC) 

In an age where image and brand often eclipse talent and passion, Leif Vollebekk is a throwback. As a pianist Vollebekk’s compositions are fluid and lyrical, melodic pathways that appear to be driven more by emotion than strict structure. As a songwriter, Vollebek is capable of laying his heart and experience uncomfortably, straightforwardly bare. Part of that passion comes from the fact that he has synesthesia, a neurological condition that means that he experiences music not only as sound but vision. No wonder the music he plays contains a sense of encompassing you as you listen to it. And as a performer, he is one of the rare few who seems to lose all sense of himself within the music as it unfolds, unself-consciously writhing and grimacing as the music takes hold of him. In recent years, he found he could no longer play songs he had written years ago; when the emotions driving the songs no longer drove him, he could no longer enter them and instead had to compose new songs that engage him as he is today. Listening to Leif Vollebekk perform – along with his backing band, complete with horns  – is a full-body experience.


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