The Bleu Rapteurs are made up of top blues, jump blues, swing, jazz and rock performers from Austin, Texas.
Leon Rodriguez (guitar & vocals)
Leon plays electric guitar, dobro and acoustic slide guitar and sings vocals. In addition to his vast playing skills in Blues, Swing, Jazz, Rock and Pop, Leon is also a master sound engineer. He has had the opportunity to perform with a vast assortment of bands and acts, including Pony Poindexter, Dizzy Gillespie, Chet Baker, Heat Wave, Clarence Carter, Arnett Cobb, Freida Payne, Rosa King, Les Paul, Westside Horns and the U.S. Army Jazz Ensemble. Many educational ensembles including The Texas State University Jazz Band, The Corpus Christi State University Jazz Band and The Austin Community College Jazz Band. Leon has written, performed and produced commercial radio productions and film scores. As sound engineer Leon has a vast client list including the Zappa Family, George Duke, Billy Cobham, Mahavvishnu John McLaughlin's Shakti, Maynard Ferguson, Jimmie Vaughan, Armadillo World Headquarters, Weather Report, Asleep At The Wheel, Bill Carter, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Tom Waits, B.B. King and many more. Leon's Austin roots run incredibly deep!
Sky Downing (vocals)
Originally hailing from the Gulf Coast region, Skye Downing's travels and upbringing are what deliver her to the sound of the soulful Blues that is her heart's passion. Labeled a “tour de force on stage,” Skye is a vocalist best known for singing with “refined, gutsy vocals capable of subtlety, passion and power,” with a “love of music [that] is radiant, even palpable in every moment on stage.” Skye has had the privilege of sharing the stage and recording with many internationally renowned Blues musicians, including Miss Blues, Delores Scott, Hazel Miller, Henry Butler, and Dan Treanor. Skye spent 7 years as lead vocalist for the popular Boulder, CO-based “Bluesiana” band Jockamo, in addition to being the front-woman and manager of the Skye Downing Band. The fall of 2009 landed Skye in Austin, Texas - The "Live Music Capitol Of The World" where she has found endless opportunities and a grand assortment of players to create music with. Her most recent musical venture is Bleu Rapteurs. The band is made up of great players and friends from the fertile Austin music scene. A member of the board in the Austin Blues Society she is thrilled to be in the developmental stages of the local "Blues In The Schools" program.
Jimmy Fenno (drums, percussion & vocals)
Well known in Austin for his ten piece band "Original Recipe" Jimmy has been leading bands, playing drums and percussion and singing since age ten. A second generation drummer, son of jazz arranger, composer and band leader Dick Fenno, Jimmy has continues the family tradition of high musical standards. After moving to Austin a dozen years ago quickly established himself as one of the most prolific band leaders in town. The band was put on "pause" in 1994 for touring the U.S. and eastern Europe (Russia, Turkey & Cyprus) with W.C. Clark's Blues Review. A logical choice for the drum chair in Bleu Rapteurs both Leon and Skye approached Jimmy early on to take part at one of the many "jam sessions" in Austin where they took to the stage together and found they were all three able to easily "lock in" with each other musically. A swing drummer with deep roots in swing, blues and R&B, Jimmy brings his strong sensitive musical understanding to everything he plays. Jimmy is also a lover of the vintage drum sound. He plays 1960's Slingerland drums and a sweet mixture of modern and vintage Turkish cymbals.