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 "An Adult Song and Dance Revue" at RI College on May 18, 2008

Link to a video of my 5/18/08 jazz performance

 

"IT'S ALL ABOUT THE SONG!"

I'm a jazz singer who took a break and focused on my original songs for a while!  Now I'm back to focusing on my jazz vocals and have enrolled in RI College's Jazz Studies Program. Studying jazz is giving me a much better foundation as a vocalist and songwriter. Whether we're talking about a jazz standard or one of my originals, "it's all about the song"!  I strive to feel and convey the original intent of the composer when I sing jazz or blues standards,  and as for my originals, they are gifts that come to me and take me where they want to go...I simply have to listen and follow their lead! I've been told my original songs are melodic, upbeat,  and easy to relate to. I haven't been performing my originals with my acoustic guitar for quite a while now and have been arranging those of my originals that lend themselves to jazz in that format and hope to include them in my future jazz performances and recordings. I've left a few of my acoustic selections below for those of you who enjoyed those performances.  I'll keep you posted as I book jazz engagements (see my homepage calendar section) and please feel free to recommend me to perform at a jazz club, or for a wedding or private function.

I've come a long way from when I first pulled into Newport with my guitar in the 1990s, then known as "Leslie Henry"! Here's some performance pictures from over the years...

 

             

First PR Shot, 1994 & Billy Goods in Newport, 2000

Opening Act for the 1st Newport Production of the Vagina Monologues, Jane Pickens Theatre, 2002

      

Marriage of an Act, Bill and Leslie Miller's Wedding, Salvation Cafe, Newport, RI, January 1, 2005

Artists with MS Art Exhibit Opening, Tsetse Gallery, Providence, RI, 2006

 

 

My Husband Bill and I Playing My Original Songs at RICARES' Sober St. Patty's Day Celebration at Felicia's Cafe in East Greenwich on March 16th, 2008, my last acoustic guitar performance...

 

My Most Recent Pics from "An Adult Song and Dance Revue" at RI College on May 18, 2008

 

 

"I fell in love with jazz the minute I heard Billy Holiday, and even more when Maureen McGovern came out with her Gershwin album called Naughty Baby "   As a writer, I can't but help but have a passion for jazz. The standards are shining examples of the best song-writing I could ever aspire to. Some of my jazz and blues singing influences have been Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Carmen McCrae, Sarah Vaughan, Peggy Lee, Tony Bennett, Nancy Wilson, Della Reese, Diana Krall, Natalie Cole, Etta James, Maureen McGovern, Patti Austin, my  Jazz Vocals professor at Rhode Island College Shawnn Monteiro, and more recently, I've really enjoyed Karrin Allyson. My favorite composers are the Gershwin brothers, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Harold Arlen, Rodgers and Hart, to name only a handful out of the many I love and cover!

I'm fine-tuning my jazz talents while I'm at RI College and as mentioned above, I'm studying for a minor in Jazz Studies as well as my major in Political Science. I'm so lucky to have Shawnn Monteiro as my jazz vocals professor!  You can visit her site by clicking here, and I hope you'll catch one of her local shows (her calendar is on her site...she can be seen at the Atlantic Beach Club and Sardello's in Newport, and the Hi Hat in Providence among a few places,  when she's not teaching or performing in Europe). Shawnn has encouraged me by the saying, "if you stumble, make it a part of your dance"!

I'm also learning so much from Greg Abate, my Jazz Combo director as well as my jazz theory professor! Again, I'm so impressed with the world-class talent that both Greg and Shawnn bring to RI College and the patience and humility that are so characteristic of the way they deal with their students. Greg also performs from time to time at The Atlantic Beach Club and Sardella's in Newport and my husband and I love going to see him at Chan's Egg Rolls and Jazz in Woonsocket. His dates are listed on his web site which you can get to from here.

I've also gotten brave and decided to embark on what I wish my mother never let me quit when I was 5 years old: learning the piano. At RIC we have yet another world-class musician, Greg Wardson, who frequently performs with Greg Abate and who teaches at Berkeley full-time and at RIC on Wednesdays. It will be a couple of years before I'll be able to play in public, but I trust the process and appreciate Greg's patience and support as I struggle through the scales and exercises!  I'm proving to myself that you're never too old to learn something new! My experiences in RIC's music department have greatly enhanced my natural talents and I'm looking forward to beginning my performance career again in the near future...stay tuned, and thanks so much for supporting me and live jazz music!


Discography:  2000:  "My Own Style
"

Biography: Born on May 9, 1990 in Somerville, MA. Moved to RI in 1978 and married my children's father Robert Henry in 1981. Robert sadly passed away in 1990 and the kids and I moved to Newport in 1991 where I've lived ever since. I married my present husband Bill Miller on January 1, 2005. I'm attending RI College to earn my Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, as well as a minor in Jazz Studies as mentioned above.

 

JAZZ SELECTIONS:

* An Adult Song and Dance Revue, RI College, May 18, 2008:

I had a great time performing in "An Adult Song and Dance Revue" at Rhode Island  College on May 18th last year! Elaine Colanari produced it and had her dance students perform wonderful routines with myself and fellow RIC music student Kevin Martin accompanied by the Ron Bianchi Trio singing jazz standards in between. I was able to take some footage from the DVD that was made of the show and make a jazz demo. I was told that my performance showed  how much Shawnn Monteiro's guidance has helped me reclaim my style and regain confidence in my performance skills. Click here to watch the 8.46 minute demo.   

MP3 Audio Clips from The Show (Click on the Name to Sample Them):

¯  "Cheek to Cheek": 1:24 min. (Irving Berlin)

accompanied by the Ron Bianchi Trio, "An Adult Song & Dance Revue," RI College, May 18, 2008

¯  "Puttin' On The Ritz": 0:45 min. (Irving Berlin)

accompanied by the Ron Bianchi Trio, "An Adult Song & Dance Revue," RI College, May 18, 2008

¯  "The Birth Of The Blues": 1:00 min. (Henderson, DeSylvia, & Brown)

accompanied by the Ron Bianchi Trio, "An Adult Song & Dance Revue," RI College, May 18, 2008

¯  "God Bless The Child" 1:45 min. (Herzog/Holiday)

accompanied by the Ron Bianchi Trio, "An Adult Song & Dance Revue," RI College, May 18, 2008

FOR BOOKING PLEASE CALL 401-935-2703

Current Jazz Repertoire:

All Of Me I Get A Kick Out Of You Puttin' On The Ritz
All The Things You Are I Got Rhythm Route 66
Am I Blue? I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart Since I Fell For You
Anything Goes I'm All Smiles Someone To Watch Over Me
As Time Goes By I'm Beginning To See The Light Straighten Up & Fly Right
Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered I'm In The Mood For Love Take The "A" Train
Between The Devil & The Deep Blue Sea I'm Wild About That Thing The Nearness Of You
Blue Moon In The Wee Small  Hours Of The Morning That Old Black Magic
Body & Soul It's Only A Paper Moon That Old Feeling
Bye, Bye Blackbird I've Got The World On A String That's Life
Cheek To Cheek I've Got You Under My Skin The Best Is Yet To Come
Come Rain Or Come Shine Just The Way You Are The Birth Of The Blues
Corner Of Heaven Just In Time The Girl From Ipanema
Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep Let's Do It The Lady Is A Tramp
Crazy Making Whoopie The Man I Love
East Of The Sun Mean To Me The Sweetest Sounds
Embraceable You Moondance They Can't Take That Away From Me
Exactly Like You My Funny Valentine Too Soon To Tell
Fascinating Rhythm New York State Of Mind What A Wonderful World
Fly Me To The Moon Nice Work If You Can Get It When I Fall In Love
God Bless The Child One For My Baby When Sunny Gets Blue
Grown-Up Christmas List One Note Samba Willow Weep For Me
How About You Our Love Is Here To Stay You Go To My Head
How Insensitive Over The Rainbow You Send Me
How Long Has This Been Going On? Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone You Took Advantage Of Me
I Can't Make You Love Me Put On A Happy Face  

 

 

ACOUSTIC PERFORMANCES OF ORIGINAL SONGS:

(JAZZ ARRANGEMENTS w/PIANO ACCOMPANIMENT & NEW SONGS COMING SOON...)

¯ "Too Good To Be True" © 2001, Leslie J. Music (ASCAP), All Rights Reserved:  Music  Lyrics

    ¯ "A Long Time Coming" ©2004, Leslie J. Music (ASCAP). All Rights Reserved:  Music  Lyrics

¯ "The Woman Over 40 Blues" ©1998, Leslie J. Music (ASCAP), All Rights Reserved:  Music  Lyrics

 

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