By Steve Israel
July 01, 2005
Local keyboardist wants to return to the big time

He's flown in private planes with Baryshnikov when he was the great dancer's keyboard man. He's played No. 1 hits in Madison Square Garden with James Taylor, and Bonnie Raitt.
So what's Louis Landon doing behind the keyboards at the Monticello Raceway racino this weekend - and every weekend this month - along with playing July gigs at a street fair in Wurtsboro, a Monticello library and a Middletown restaurant?
Working to get back to the big time.

"I'm still thinking that high level is possible," says Landon, who plays, sings and records everything from Gershwin, Porter and Coldplay to his own meditative, jazzy or pop tunes.
And why not?

Louis Landon, who has homes in Rockland and Sullivan counties, knows about show biz success. His dad, Leo de Lyon, was a band leader for stars like Nat "King" Cole. That's how Landon got to eat pot roast at home with old stars like Phil Silvers and go backstage to meet rock 'n' rollers like Dion. His dad was one reason Landon started playing piano. Another was his ability to play a song by ear. So after playing in high schools bands like the East Side Kids in the '60s, he enrolled at the Berklee School of Music in Boston. That's where he hooked up with saxophonist John Payne, who had played with Van Morrison and Bonnie Raitt. Landon and Payne recorded major label albums and toured with Weather Report. After that, Landon got a gig as the keyboardist for John Hall of Orleans, who organized the No Nukes Concerts and played with Raitt and Taylor.

But even though Landon directed TV specials featuring Maureen McGovern and worked with "Turn the Beat Around" star Vicki Sue Robinson, he wanted to play the jazzy Sinatra-like tunes he'd been writing. So 10 years ago, he raised the money to record them. Since then, Landon has recorded four more albums and performed constantly, often playing several gigs in one day.

"I feel it's more important than anything to push my own concerts and get my CDs out," he says. "I'm still of the mind set that one day I'll be taking limos to the Lear jet to get my music to people who want to hear it."

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