World-traveling vocalist, songwriter, recording artist, and MetroSTAR Semi-Finalist ARLEE LEONARD debuts at Metropolitan Room with "MAKE SOMEONE HAPPY" - a night of classics from the American Songbook, Jazz Standards, Bossa Novas, Blues and Originals. Arlee is a soulful jazz vocalist who loves to sing and perform! She shines with her strong, yet supple 4-octave voice and her delightful stage presence. Her talents have taken her from Asia to Russia, from New Orleans to Marseille to critical acclaim.
Critics raved about her debut CD "WILD HONEY" -
"EMOTIONS REIGN SUPREME, as they do through this album.... DEEP AND WOODY, SHE'S SENSUAL AT THE SAME TIME THAT SHE'S PLAYFUL.... Arlee has many talents, and is not afraid to use them." - John Barrett, Jr., JAZZ IMPROV
"WHILE SHE LURES ONE WITH HER SULTRINESS, SHE HAS THE POWER TO SURPRISE. On her and Braden's "Rose's Song," the vocalist reaches up in octaves and down in her soul for an impassioned soft scream.... Leonard is skillful with jazz standards as well, bringing A LOT OF HEART AND ENTHUSIASM to tunes...on Duke Ellington's "I'm Beginning to See the Light," sung in a dreamily slow style..." - Geraldine Wyckoff, GAMBIT WEEKLY
"EMOTIONALLY, LEONARD DOESN'T HOLD BACK ON THIS CD....and she shows herself to be A TALENTED COMPOSER on gritty originals like "Sista's Blues (Blue is What I Am)" and "Tokens of Appreciation." - Alex Henderson, ALL MUSIC GUIDE
The international press has been similarly impressed:
"Listening and watching the shapely Arlee sing the likes of "This Can't Be Love" brings to mind the classic movie "The Fabulous Baker Boys".... Garbed in a body-hugging but elegant evening gown, she croons effortlessly. Her voice is languorous, she's not just like Michelle Pfiefer (with a more beautiful singing voice), she's Jessica Rabbit in the flesh."
- Dennis Ladaw, THE MANILA TIMES
"Sharing the stage, in this round, singer Arlee Leonard was the central figure of the show...With her, [Don] Braden was humbly resigned to the role of accompanist...It was one of those nights that melt placidly towards an end that nobody wants." - IDEAL, Granada, Spain
"SHE EMBELLISHES EACH NOTE WITH HER OWN ENDEARING STYLE...You'll not want to miss this soulful vocalist who has performed...in venues across the U.S. and Europe, in Japan, Central America, and now Taiwan." - THE TAIWAN NEWS
Vocalist, Songwriter, Poet, Producer, Writer
"Arlee Leonard has written some impressive originals, and her voice crackles with life. Deep and woody, she's sensual at the same time that she's playful...Arlee has many talents, and is not afraid to use them." - JAZZ IMPROV
THE VERSATILE ARLEE LEONARD BEGAN PERFORMING at age six in coffee houses in DETROIT with her parents, blues/folk icons DAVID & ROSELYN. In 1991, her multi-racial family toured GERMANY, FRANCE, HOLLAND and SWITZERLAND, and she’s sung with them, led her own groups, and been a guest vocalist for a variety of occasions and events around the world since. Ms. Leonard, raised in California, Michigan and New Orleans, studied and performed in music, theater and dance at SANTA MONICA HIGH SCHOOL and the UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SANTA CRUZ, while earning a B.A. in Sociology, with honors.
MS. LEONARD can swing standards, wail blues, caress ballads, harmonize with a classical harpist, scat a samba, belt gospel, and get funky in a groove, bringing a joie de vivre and well-honed expertise to any stage she’s on. With her 4-octave range and strong command of the classic elements of jazz vocalizing, Arlee's multifaceted singing style is complimented by her joyfully engaging stage presence and graceful moves. She is also a gifted lyricist, songwriter, and poet.
ARLEE CURRENTLY TRAVELS THE WORLD SINGING, receiving praise from critics and audiences alike for her debut CD “WILD HONEY” and her dynamic live performances. Ms. Leonard has headlined in SINGAPORE, RUSSIA, UKRAINE, BELARUS, SOUTH AFRICA, THAILAND, FRANCE, CHINA, THE PHILIPPINES, JAPAN, DUBAI, TAIWAN, SPAIN, CANADA, GUATEMALA, and across the USA. In 2011, Arlee has already traveled to Russia three times and Ukraine, performing in jazz clubs, concerts halls, and with a big band. She performed at the NEW ORLEANS JAZZ & HERITAGE FESTIVAL in May with her parents’ group Mo’Lasses, and continues a standing engagement in Stamford, CT. 2010 also began with a return to Russia, and Arlee’s first appearances in Belarus and Ukraine. She performed for the GREAT WOMEN IN MUSIC FESTIVAL Oct. 2010 in NYC, and had a fall tour in California. 2009 performances included the JAZZ PROVINCE FESTIVAL (Russian Tour), STANDARD BANK JOY OF JAZZ FESTIVAL (Johannesburg, SA), SATCHMO SUMMERFEST and NEW ORLEANS JAZZ & HERITAGE FESTIVAL (New Orleans), WOMEN IN JAZZ FESTIVAL 2009 (NYC), and concerts in France with MOUSSU T ET LE JOVENTS, a local roots ensemble, for a project honoring the writer CLAUDE MCKAY entitled “ZOU, SHAKE THAT THING!” (Marseille, France). One highlight from 2008 was a headlining performance at THE FRENCH QUARTER FESTIVAL (New Orleans).
ARLEE’S SELF-PRODUCED DEBUT CD "WILD HONEY" (SolaJazz Records, 2000) includes seven originals and distinctive arrangements of five classics. Ms. Leonard assembled some of New York’s finest for the recording, including DON BRADEN, MARCUS PRINTUP, ERIC LEWIS, FREDDIE BRYANT, DWAYNE BURNO, DWAYNE BROADNAX, and DANNY SADOWNICK. She has recorded for many others, including Fall '07 releases by New Orleans' trumpeter SHAMARR ALLEN with clarinetist DR. MICHAEL WHITE, and with THE CAMPBELL BROTHERS.
When home in New York and New Orleans, Arlee has graced the stage at renowned jazz venues including SNUG HARBOR, BOMBAY CLUB and SWEET LORRAIINE'S (New Orleans), and SWEET RHYTHM, BIRDLAND, LENOX LOUNGE, BLUE NOTE, and BAMCAFE (New York). Arlee has sung for the INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR JAZZ EDUCATION (IAJE) conference, the JVC JAZZ FESTIVAL, and several INTERNATIONAL WOMEN IN JAZZ (IWJ) concerts.
IN ADDITION TO CONCERTS, Ms. Leonard sings and hosts for corporate and private functions, churches, fundraisers, film events, universities and more. Arlee has performed as an actress and dancer, for live radio and television, and is a certified MUSIC TOGETHER® teacher. For several years she was the Secretary to the Board of Directors of IWJ, and has been a member of IAJE, the Jazz Foundation of America, the Jazz Vocal Coalition, and Jazz Alliance International. Arlee is an ASCAP writer and publisher. As an artist and as a person, Arlee is always reaching for her higher ground. When she shines, you will smile!
To purchase CD "WILD HONEY" read press and more - http://www.ArleeLeonard.com
For schedule, audio & visual goodies - http://www.Myspace.com/ArleeL
For Facebook music page & latest news - http://www.Facebook.com/ArleeLeonard