City Life

A Local Band Goes Hollywood

Providence-based wedding band The Free Downloads got to share the silver screen with DeNiro


The recently released, star-studded film The Comedian may have a few extra familiar faces for Rhode Islanders. The Free Downloads, a local seven-piece band, was chosen to play a wedding scene in the film directed by Taylor Hackford (An Officer and a Gentleman, Ray) and starring Robert DeNiro. Performing select covers and ending in the traditional Jewish Horah dance song “Simon Tov Mazel Tov,” the band is highlighted for seven minutes where they hold their own next to some of Hollywood’s biggest actors, including Leslie Mann, Danny DeVito and Harvey Keitel. Along with their on-screen appearance, the band’s music can be heard throughout the movie. “We’ve worked hard over the years to become a great band, fine tuning our sound… to be cast in a major production feels like recognition of not only that collective effort but also the individual talents within the band,” says guitarist and bandleader George Leonard III.

George is joined by singers Sheree Dunwell and Neil Letendre, and the impressive dynamic of John Wilson, Riccardo Pearlman, Greg Takemoro and Marc Tractenber who all offer diversity that enhances their overall sound. A favorite in the wedding band scene, The Free Downloads will be an even hotter commodity in the upcoming wedding season.