A proud and talented AfroMetis Nova Scotian, Leonard “Sugar Plum” Woodworth Croxen was born into a musical family on July 17, 1962 and has been musically inclined ever since he can remember. His first public performance was at a school Christmas concert at eight years of age. He subsequently performed at talent shows and other events around the community where he was raised: Newport Station, Hants County, Nova Scotia.
Leonard’s father, Charles Raymond Croxen, was born in 1923 in Newport Station. He was a musician, and Leonard remembers learning “tricks in the key of C Major” from him around the time of that first concert. Leonard’s mother, Joyce – a multi-talented musician in her own right – was the main influence and motivation for him to dedicate his life to music. He recalls, “She used to sit down with me when I was a kid, taking my fingers and showing me how to form chords on the guitar and piano.”
Leonard’s childhood nickname became his professional name when he began his music career in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1986. Music continues to define his life as he tours across Canada constantly in different bands and projects. He writes songs as well, and is working on his biography entitled, “Sugar Plum Croxen: My Music Career, Coast To Coast In Canada”.
Leonard, who describes his musical style as a blend of country, blues and soul, is a respected musician with excellent skills, vast experience, and genuine love for the music he shares with his delighted audiences. As a former member of his band testifies,
I learned proper pre-show guitar setup from a die-hard blues man… Sugar Plum (Leonard) Croxen, an East Coast Nova Scotian dude with a mean black soul sound. I played with his band a bit. I learned all my soul tunes from his sets. Lots of James Brown funk. Wilson Pickett, Freddie King, Larry McCray. Ray Charles. Buddy Guy, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Robert Cray, Artie “Blues Boy” White, Johnnie Taylor and more.
Leonard has performed with countless musicians over the years, including all of the following: Jeff Healey, Buddy Guy, Danny Marks, Carson Downey Band, Joe Murphy & Water Street Blues Band, Big Dave Mclean, Barry Cook, Gary Kendall, Dutch Mason, Rusty Reed, Frank Wilks, Roger Strange, Gary Steed, Danny Sutherland, Johnny “Bootz” Hutt, Ben Comeau, Leslie “Snooksta” Alston, Incognito, Tony D. (MonkeyJunk), Steve Hill, Dale J. “Soup‑Bone” White, Snook Tynes, Pat Rush, Big John Little, Brian “Chapman Stick” Bourne, Gary Martin & Heavenly Blues, Guenther “Bass” Kapelle, Mike Van Eyes, Steve Stone, Carl Tremblay, Ernest Lee & Cotton Traffic, Johnnie Lovesin, Brian Cober, Kevin Howe, Tony “Wild‑T” Springer, Mark “Bird” Stafford, Jerome Godboo, Matt Minglewood, Ben Cleveland, Tom Stephen, Sam Moon, Jack Semple, Michael K., Miranda Burt, Joe Macleod, Johnny V., Howie Sheppard, Jeremiah Sparks, Bucky & Cory Adams, Pat Rush, Jimbo Syrett, Frank MacKay, Richie Oakley, Daniel Tremblay and Julian Fauth.
The list goes on and on, and includes Leonard’s many musical relatives: his cousins (George States, Lamont Gray, Kenny Gray, Cornell Gray, Dean “Cowboy” Sampson, Clifford “Chico” Gibson and George “Butch” Flint), his uncles (Mark and Kyle Johnson), his brothers (Alvin, Larry, Curtis and Gary Croxen), his mother (Joyce (Johnson) Croxen), his great-uncle (Clarence “Bunch” Gray), and his grandmother (Dorothy (Dot) Gray Johnson)!