Leo Trio Sets Bar For City Of Arts, Innovation

Saturday night we attended a back yard studio tap and percussion performance by the Leo Trio. One of the members is a friend of ours, Fred Strickler. Fred is a world class tap master. Anyone in the world of tap dance knows who he is. He used to teach at UCR. He has a studio in his converted garage and it is wonderfully intimate – Only 20 seats – and some of those are tiny little “kiddie table” chairs.

Denise Donovan studied with Fred for many years and she currently teaches tap at Riverside Community College. Ray McNamara is a percussionist at UCR. They are the Leo Trio, all Leos of course.

A pre-show wine and appetizer table added to the evening’s festivities. They performed several utterly imaginative numbers utilizing voice, tap and the percussion wizardry of guest artist Butch.  What I’d say about Butch is he has not lost the ability to “play”.

They did a number using only kids toys.  That was just the start. Tongue, Tap and Tubes was a wonderful progression of voice to tap, tap to plastic tubes in a cascade of sounds way cooler than the Blue Man Group ever dreamed.

They even did a percussion number with bags of Sun Chips that turned into some on stage chip explosions  and as it was only a 20 seat venue, audience participation was unavoidable.

Five dollars of each ticket goes to our Sister City, Sendai and the earthquake recovery.

If you’d like to witness something utterly unique and only available in Riverside, City of Arts and Innovation, then buy a ticket now for the Leo Trio’s April  back yard studio performances.  Next week is already sold out. I promise you’ll never see anything like it and you’ll certainly never forget it.


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