Diane Downs founded The Fabulous Leopard Percussionists in November 1993. After 10 years, the group became a non-profit community based organization and was renamed to the Louisville Leopard Percussionists. Since then, the Leopards have performed throughout Louisville and Kentucky at events including the Kentucky Derby Festival, at University of Louisville sporting events, with the rock band My Morning Jacket, for the U.S. Women's World Cup Champion Soccer Team, for the International Jump Rope Championship Team, at Morehead State University, Eastern Kentucky University, and with the Louisville Orchestra.
On the national level, Downs' students have performed at the Atlanta International Band & Orchestra Convention, the Indiana, Kentucky and Florida State Music Educator's conventions, WGI Percussion Finals in Dayton, The Midwest Clinic in Chicago, the International Association of Jazz Educators Conferences in Chicago, New Orleans and New York City, the American Orff-Schulwerk Association National Conference, the Duke Ellington Jazz Festival in Washington, DC, at the Jazz Educator's Network Convention in New Orleans and in Louisville, and four times at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention.
During these performances, Downs and her students have had the privilege of performing with some of the world's leading percussionists including Jerry Steinholtz, Victor Mendoza, Ndugu Chancler, Louie Bellson, Joe Morello, Brad Dutz, Emil Richards, Zoro, and Dave Samuels. They have also performed for such luminaries as Chester Thompson, Giovanni Hidalgo, Victor Wooten, Steve Cropper, Coretta Scott King, Evelyn Glennie, and Wynton Marsalis.
The Leopards were featured in an HBO special, "The Leopards Take Manhattan: The Little Band That Roared" as part of the acclaimed "Music In Me" series. The documentary follows the Leopards to New York City to perform before the Chick Corea Trio (Chick Corea, Jack DeJohnette, and Eddie Gomez) at the 2006 IAJE Convention.