Flutist, saxophonist, guitarist, composer, arranger, bandleader, educator, inventor

Sylvain Leroux grew up in Montreal where he studied classical flute at Vincent d’Indy; and improvisation and composition in New York at the Creative Music Studio where he attended classes by luminaries Don Cherry, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Karl Berger, Cecil Taylor and many others.

A pioneer of African/Jazz collaborations, Sylvain is a foremost player of the “Fula flute,” the traditional flute from Guinea.

He was selected as “Rising Flute Star” by the Downbeat Magazine Critics’ Poll for many years, achieving the #2 spot in 2019.

As a bandleader, he brought traditional West African music to Zankel Hall with his Fula Flute Ensemble and held the fort for more than a decade at New York’s Zinc Bar with his African Jazz group “Source”. His 2002 CD “Fula Flute,” that achieved cult status, stimulated a worldwide interest in the instrument and his 2012 album “Quatuor Creole” was hailed as “a perfect contemporary music release.”

He curated New York’s “Griot Summits” that featured performances by 25 West African griots from five countries. He has performed and recorded with Emeline Michel, Adam Rudolph, Karl Berger, Hassan Hakmoun, Billy Martin, and many West African stars.

Maker and seller of Fula flutes around the world, he invented and patented the “qromatica” which brought the traditional instrument into full chromatic functionality. This led him to initiate l’ecole fula flute, a music literacy project in Conakry that graduated many excellent young flutists who are now re-energizing an endangered flute tradition.


Recordings as leader:

Sylvain Leroux “Qromatica” Fula Flute / Meta Dash 2023
Sylvain Leroux & l’école fula flute “TYABALA” Mulatta 2019
Fula Flute “Fula Flute III” Engine Studios 2016
SL & l’école fula flute “Les Enfants de Tyabala” Mulatta 2014
Sylvain Leroux “Quatuor Créole” Engine Studio 2012
Fula Flute “Mansa America” Completely Nuts 2009
SOURCE “Tonight’s African Jazz Band” Completely Nuts 2006
Fula Flute “Fula Flute” Blue Monster 2002
Sylvain Leroux & the Maintenance Crew” (cassette) 1992

Recordings as sideman:

Go: Org. Orch. / BRM “A Garland of Ragas” Meta 2019 – flute, Fula flute, qromatica
John Ehlis “In This Lifetime” Sivac Records 2015 – flute, qromatica
The Recipe “Westernized African Music” 2014 – Fula flute
Hasan Hakmoun “Unity” Real World 2014 – Fula flute
Adam Rudolph’s Go: Org. Orch. “Sonic Mandala” Meta 2014 – flute, Fula flute, qromatica
Barry Wedgle & Sylvain Leroux "Why Not?" 2014 — flute, Fula flute
Analog Players Society "CKY to JFK" Korosi 2013 – Fula flute, flute, alto sax
Dendê & Banda “Back to Bahia” 2013 – Fula flute
Missia Saran Dioubate “Madjikoma” 2012 – flute, Fula flute
Klo “Exhale” 2012 – flute, Fula flute
Mandingo Ambassadors “Tougna” Engine Studios 2012 – flute, alto sax
Irene & Francis Jacob “Je sais nager” 2012 – Fula flute
Sohrab Sadat Ladjevardi “New World Trash” 2012 – Fula flute
Abou Sylla “Give Thanks” 2012 – flute
Sekouba Kandia Kouyate & Sona Tata “Fo Idari Ara” 2012 – Fula flute
Adam Rudolph’s Go: Org. Orch. “Sound of a Dream” Meta 2011 – flute, Fula flute
Abdou MBoup “Senegal” 2012 – Fula flute
Alpha Thiam “Alpha Thiam” 2010 – Fula flute
Mandingo Ambassadors “Radio NYC” Completely Nuts 2009 – flute, alto sax
Abdoulaye Diabate “Sara” Completely Nuts 2009 – flute
Nicodemus “Sun People” 2009 – flute, Fula flute
Famoro Dioubate’s Kakande “Dununya” 2008 – flute, Fula flute
Yossi Green “The 8th Note” 2008 – Fula flute
"Rèves de poussière" movie soundtrack 2006 – Fula flute
Michael Spiro/Michael Williams “BataMbira” 2005 – Fula flute
Emeline Michel “Rasin Kreyol” 2004 – flute
Martino Atangana and ABN “Oyenga Fam” 2004 – alto sax
Michael Markus “Magbana” 2003 – Fula flute
M’mah Doumbouya “Gbadona” 2003 – flute
Dallam Dougou “New Destiny” Jumbie Records 2003 – flute, Fula flute
Compilation “Badenya” Smithsonian Folkways 2002 – Fula flute, guitar
Naby Camara “L’union fait la force” 1998 – flute, Fula flute
Peter Fand “Dedication" Blue Monster 1997 – Fula flute
Lagni Sussu “Lagni Sussu” 1995 – Fula flute
Nego Gato “Baiano in New York” Deep Listening 1995 – flute, Fula flute, guitar, composition
Yaya Diallo “Dounoukan” Onzou Records 1995 – flute, Fula flute
Lucia Hwong “Goddess" I, II & III 1995 – flute, alto sax, berimbau
Takadja “Diyé” (Juno nominated) Black Sun 1994 – Fula flute
Yaya Diallo “Nanga Pè” Onzou Records 1981 – flute