Leonard Haze


Original Y&T Drummer LEONARD HAZE Passes Away At 61


September 12, 2016 - Hayward, California: Leonard Haze, original drummer for legendarry Bay Area rock band Y&T, passed away Sunday evening, September 11, 2016, at his home in Hayward. He was 61 years old.

Haze had been battling chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) for several years, making breathing difficult. Even so, he had fought to keep playing drums, performing regularly with his band, HazeXperience, and joining Y&T on-stage at the Fillmore in San Francisco in both 2015 and 2016. HazeXperience was scheduled to open for Y&T at the Mystic Theatre in Petaluma November 18 and 19, and had been in the midst of recording an EP of new material.

"Leonard was not only a bandmate but a close friend, sharing not just a passion for music but also our appreciation for fast cars and cool RC planes," said HazeXperience guitarist Jim Bradley. "Leonard was taken from us way too soon."

"Leonard was a good friend, a great drummer, and a true ambassador for the world of rock 'n' roll," said Jeffrey Winslow, lead singer for HazeXperience. "I'm shocked that he's gone, but thankful I got to know him while he was here."

Haze was a founding member and one of the principal songwriters for the Bay Area hard rock band Yesterday & Today, later known as Y&T. He co-wrote some of their biggest hits, including "Hurricane," "Black Tiger," "Mean Streak," "Rescue Me," "Dirty Girl," "Forever," and MTV staple "Summertime Girls."

It was Haze's bass drum prowess that made his powerful drumming style legendary and, thanks to it, Y&T quickly developed the reputation as a must-see live band and musical powerhouse, headlining shows with opening acts such as Van Halen, Mötley Crüe, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and many others. Y&T's hard-driving style helped them land worldwide tours alongside such acts as AC/DC, Aerosmith, Ozzy Osbourne, and Rush, which resulted in the development of a strong following throughout Europe.

In the early Nineties, Haze played drums on Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillan's solo album, Toolbox. Gillan subsequently asked him to join the band, and Haze was part of one of the first rock bands ever to not only perform, but tour, behind the "Iron Curtain," traversing the Soviet Union during the cold war. After that tour, Haze became a permanent member of the Ian Gillan Band, continuing with a two-year world tour and performing in 71 countries.

In 2002, Haze reunited with Y&T and went back on tour with them throughout the United States until they parted ways in 2006.

Haze's final performance took place August 20 with HazeXperience at the Quarter Note in Sunnyvale.


HAZEXPERIENCE (Feat. Y&T Drummer Leonard Haze) Poised To Catch Fire

Monday, July 14, 2014
HazeXperience Poised To Catch Fire
Legendary Y&T Drummer Leonard Haze Unveils Monster New Lineup

Oakland, California--July 12, 2014--Groove-heavy rock and roll machine HazeXperience, anchored by legendary Y&T drummer Leonard Haze, is preparing to play a string of live dates in advance of returning to the studio to record the follow-up to their 2012 debut album, Not Purple. The first show is scheduled for July 19 at Bobby D's in Redwood City, CA.

The July 19 club date is not just another show, however. It is also the debut of Haze's hand-selected new lineup. Haze has stacked HazeXperience with a group of highly-talented, experienced musicians, including guitarist Jimmy DK, bassist David Blakely, keyboardist Ace Olfra, and vocalist Jeffrey Winslow.

"I'm excited to start playing shows with this band," said Haze. "I would put this group of musicians up against any five, secure in the knowledge we would hold our own and then some."

Leonard Haze was a founding member and one of the principal songwriters for hard rock band Y&T, co-writing some of their biggest hits, including "Hurricane," "Black Tiger," "Mean Streak," "Rescue Me," "Dirty Girl," "Forever," and MTV staple "Summertime Girls." With Y&T, Haze headlined shows featuring opening acts such as Van Halen, Motley Crue, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and a host of other well-known bands, as well as touring the world alongside such acts as AC/DC, Aerosmith, Ozzy Osbourne, and Rush. He subsequently recorded and performed with the likes of Ronnie Montrose, Tony Iommi, Ian Gillan, and many others. As a member of the Ian Gillan Band, Haze embarked on a two-year world tour and performed in 71 countries.

Jimmy DK has been rocking northern California stages for the better part of 37 years as both a guitarist and bassist. He brought his bass skills to the Byrnie Baker Band, Luvhed, and others, and has played guitar and served as songwriter/arranger with a variety of high-profile local acts for decades, including Ossumpossum, Earlydaze, and The Side Effects. He has opened for acts such as the Chambers Brothers and Elvin Bishop.

Bassist David Blakely holds down the bottom end with a fierceness born of his years funking it up with members of Levert, Dazz Band, and George Clinton. He has performed at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the band Sammy's Good Eye, and counts Yo-Yo Ma, Soundgarden, the Beatles, Sly & the Family Stone, and King's X among his nearly endless list of favorite artists.

A modern day wizard of electronic and acoustic keyboards, Ace Olfra sets a standard by which others are measured. He is known for his fusion of rock with a myriad of musical styles including pop, latin, jazz, and world music. He has written and recorded with the likes of music producer Kim Fowley (The Runaways, Alice Cooper, KISS) and rock guitar impresario Mike Pinera (Iron Butterfly, Black Oak Arkansas, Alice Cooper).

Jeffrey Winslow got his start in the San Francisco Bay Area rock music scene, but really came into his own as a multi-dimensional vocalist fronting Santa Barbara funk-rock quintet Psycho Graffiti and two gospel choirs. During that time, he earned the nickname "Motown" for the influence of that signature, soulful R&B sound on his rock vocal style. Winslow is best known for his work as the lead vocalist for Syrym, selling albums worldwide and appearing in magazines and on radio with songs like "Ugly On The Inside," "Foul Mouth Blues," and "What I'm Trying To Say."

For more information about the band and upcoming shows, please visit HazeXperience.com.

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