New York (July 21, 2010)—Albert Leccese, 57, vice president of Audio Analysts, died of lung cancer on Saturday, July 17.
Born May 11, 1953, Leccese was a soundman’s soundman and a tireless resource, renowned in the industry for sharing his experience and knowledge with students and others. In addition to his busy schedule with Audio Analysts, he was a fixture on pro audio panels at AES conventions, and both taught and helped oversee the popular, multi-day Live Sound Workshop, held annually at Chapman College in the 1990s.
Over the decades, Leccese helped build Audio Analysts into one of North America’s largest sound companies; today, it provides audio for Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Linkin Park, Norah Jones, Blue Man Group, The Offspring and Ringo Starr, among others. Additionally, the company has become heavily involved in large-scale installations, tackling projects like Lakewood Church in Houston, TX and others.
Leccese had been fighting lung cancer for four years; after catching pneumonia earlier this year, he never quite recovered, and had been in a Denver hospital since late May. In July, he elected to move to a hospice in Colorado Springs, where he passed early Saturday morning.
In a 2002 interview with Pro Sound News, Leccese explained the genesis of his career, recalling, “I started off in high school when I finally realized that I couldn’t sing or play an instrument to save my life. I’d always been a little bit of a tech head, so I started off helping my friends out who wanted to be in bands and they needed somebody to take care of their instruments. What we could do for sound in those days? I cobbled together a couple of cabinets, a couple of old tube amplifiers–basically they were modified guitar amps—and started building guitar amps for my friends after I learned enough electronics to keep from blowing fuses and shocking myself.
“Basically I found out that I really like live audio. I like immediacy of it, I like the adrenalin rush of the house lights go down, the band starts playing and the crowd roars. It’s really hard to beat that. It’s a pretty neat thrill and as long as I keep getting goosebumps, and butterflies in my stomach every time the house lights go down, I think I’ll keep doing it. That means I still enjoy it.”
As news of his passing spread, friends and associates were effusive in their praise for Leccese. Pro Sound News founder Paul Gallo, who spent many a Live Sound Workshop with the soundman, recalled, “This was truly one of the gentlest, finest and brightest men I’ve ever known, who was willing to share everything he knew with every student. Just a wonderful person and he’ll be very much missed—he was a great guy.”
On a Facebook memoriam, SIA Acoustics founder Sam Berkow noted, “Albert was a great sound system designer – and an even better person! I really enjoyed working with him on the Pearl and other projects – he was both amazingly smart and also humble. He also made the work fun! My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”
On a personal note, I met Albert many times over the years, interviewing him on tours and chatting with him at industry events. He was always a friendly, fun person to talk to, and a fountain of information; he patiently—and good-humoredly—explained a lot to me when I first started covering pro audio and I was grateful for his generosity. It’s sad to see him go.
Leccese is survived by his wife Denise, sons Paul, 22, and Steven, 19, and his brother, Mario, vice president of operations at Audio Analysts. A church service will be held on Saturday, July 24, at 10 AM at St. Francis of Assisi Parish, 2650 Parish View, Colorado Springs, CO 80919. (719) 599-5031.
Interment will take place at Evergreen Cemetery, 1005 S. Hancock Avenue, Colorado Springs, CO 80903, following the funeral mass. A celebration of life service will be held from 1:00 to 3:00 P.M. at St. Francis of Assisi Parish; visitors are welcome to attend for light refreshments and a toast in his honor.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in memory of Albert Leccese c/o University of Colorado Hospital Foundation, 12401 E. 17th Avenue, Mail Stop F485, Aurora, CO 80045. This foundation is a not-for-profit organization and all donations will benefit the fight against lung cancer.