The world star of the tuba”

— Quotidien, TMC, Yann Barthes

Voted "Instrumental Soloist of the Year" at the 2012 Victoires de la Musique awards at the age of 24, he is the first tuba player in history to win this distinction.

Considered "one of the greatest tuba players in the world" (France Bleu), compared to the "Mozart" of his discipline, he is a world music star" (TMC, Yann Barthès). For almost 20 years, he has been featured in numerous media (TF1, France 2, France 3, C8, Europe 1, TSF Jazz, France Inter, Bayerische Rundfunk (Germany), Arte, ZDF (Germany), RFI, etc.) and on stages the world over, performing both classical music and jazz. "Often compared to Ibrahim Maalouf: the spirit is the same, the talent identical (Ouest France). "Before him, the tuba conjured up an image of a bygone era. Since he took it over, placing it at the very forefront, he has given it the unprecedented status of leading instrument. Equally at home as a classical soloist in front of a symphony orchestra, at a jazz festival or on the stage of a giant arena playing pop music, this "absolute genius of the tuba" (La Nouvelle République) displays surprising musicality and agility.

The best representative of the tuba”

— France 3

Graduating with a 1st Prize in Tuba from the CNSM de Paris, winner of International Competitions in Germany, South Korea and Luxembourg, he was appointed Tuba Solo of the Orchestre Philharmonique de l'Opéra de Marseille at the age of 19. In 2018, invited to Berlin by Rolando Villazon, he was ZDF/Arte - "Stars von Morgen" (Stars of tomorrow). In 2019, he is nominated in 3 categories at Opus Klassik in Germany.

He performs as a soloist in over 40 countries: Jazz à Vienne, Konzerthaus Berlin, Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Germany), Marseille Jazz des 5 Continents, Festival de Pâques d'Aix en Provence, Kissinger Sommer de Bad Kissingen (Germany), Mito Settembre Musica (Italy), Folle journée, Festival Radio France-Occitanie-Montpellier, Brucknerhaus Linz (Austria), Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre, Les Flâneries Musicales de Reims, Arena Loire (5,000 people), Esplanade Concert Hall (Singapore), Un Violon sur le Sable (in front of 50. 000 people), Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Hong Kong City Hall, Théâtre du Châtelet, Arsenal de Metz, Festival de la Vézère, Orangerie de Sceaux, Classique au Vert, Grand Théâtre de Provence, Leverkusener JazzTage (Germany), National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Weiwuying, Taiwan), Marvao International Music Festival (Portugal), Orchestre National d'Ile de France, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Köln Chamber Orchestra, Junge Sinfonie Berlin, Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, Orchestre Philharmonique de l'Opéra de Marseille, Orquestra Sinfônica do Rio Grande do Norte (Brazil), Tokyo Wind Symphony, Orchestre National d'Avignon, Orchestre Symphonique de Lara (Venezuela), Lanyang symphony orchestra (Taiwan)...

Since 2011, he has founded several unique and original tuba ensembles: "Thomas Leleu Sextet" (tuba and string quintet), "tubaVScello" (tuba and cello), "TL Trio" (tuba, vibraphone and piano), Born to Groove / OUTSIDER (jazz, pop and world music), Leleu Brothers (tuba and trumpet)...

He has collaborated with: Richard Galliano, Vladimir Cosma, Claude Bolling, Jean-François Zygel, the Quatuor Arod, Romain Leleu (his brother), Airelle Besson, Guillaume Vincent, Adrien La Marca, Christoph Poppen, Adélaide Ferrière, Aurélien Pascal, Félicien Brut, Roland Romanelli, J. Ph. Vanbeselaere...

He has released several albums: "In the mood for tuba" (2015), "Impressions for tuba" (2017), "Stories..." (2019). Starting with the album Born to Groove (2021) (TSF Jazz record of the day...) he offers his own compositions (jazz/pop). In 2024, he founded his own label TUBA FRENCH TOUCH (Believe/l'autre distribution) and released the album OUTSIDER.

Thomas teaches master classes: Juilliard School New York, Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler Berlin, Universität der Künste Berlin, Eastman School of Music Rochester, Indiana University (Bloomington), Tokyo Music College, Carnegie Mellon University (USA), CNSM de Paris, Tokyo university of the arts (Geidai), New England Conservatory Boston, Hochschule für Musik Stuttgart, Hochshule für Musik Würzburg, Korea National University of Arts, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)...

He is a "Melton Meinl Weston Artist - Endorser Buffet Crampon" and developed with the firm the 2250 TL "French Touch" tuba, which he currently plays.