Born: October 16 Primary Instrument: Vocalist
With her debut album, The Truth About Suffering, the sharp-witted chanteuse Jamie Leonhart enters the world of a new kind of diva, dynamic in emotional range and diverse in genre-crossing ability.
Jamie’s lithe and lyrical, three-and-a-half octave voice wraps around universe in which Kurt Weil and Laura Nyro meet Alice in Wonderland in a dimly-lit jazz club, inhabited by woodwinds, strings, vibraphone, and exotic instruments like the glockenspiel, mellotron and harmonium.
Born in New York City, the granddaughter of a cantor, and the youngest of three musically-curious children, Jamie began studying the violin at the age of three and singing soon after. Her inspiration to find her own voice began in her early teen years while singing in a vocal jazz ensemble, and at home foraging through her brother’s expansive alterative record collection. After graduating with a degree in English Literature from Barnard College, Jamie continued her musical journey: through leading a ‘pop’ band, to singing as a soloist in the New York Metro Mass Gospel Choir to performing as a solo artist at prominent New York venues such as Rockwood Music Hall, the Living Room, and Joe’s Pub.
Jamie writes about many things: love, vulnerability, perspective, patience, and trust. “These songs talk about the truth … the truth about being uncomfortable, fitting in or not fitting in, and addressing and sometimes accepting flaws and faults,” Leonhart says. “A lot of the tunes explore that: the human condition in its most basic form. The more intimate and specific I am with my lyrics, the more I hear from people that a song really ‘spoke to them’ that I captured the sentiment that they were struggling to put to words, or felt alone in. So something very personal and intimate becomes universal.”
The release of The Truth About Suffering announces to the world a new and engaging talent to be reckoned with -- Jamie Leonhart.
“New York's pop/jazz singer extraordinaire Jamie Leonhart entrances with a silky, soulful elegance. …Her original numbers are beautifully crafted, offering intoxicating melodies and involving lyrics.” Paul Freeman, East Bay Daily News
“This seems to be a new age of the chanteuse, from k.d. lang to Norah Jones to Madeleine Peyroux. One of the finest to emerge in the current spate is Jamie Leonhart.” George Graham, host WVIA’s “Home Grown”
New York City, NY
Willing to teach:
Intermediate to advanced students
Jamie Leonhart is a Certified Instructor of Somatic Voicework. Somatic Voicework™ The LoVetri Method is a body-based method of vocal training that draws from many disciplines. It is based upon voice science and medicine as well as traditional classical vocal training, complementary modalities such as yoga, movement, dance, acting, and speech training, and various bodywork approaches. The aim of Somatic Voicework™ the LoVetri Method is to unselfconsciously draw the mind of the singer into the physical process of making sound. Somatic Voicework™ The LoVetri Method allows the voice and body to be partners with the mind. It allows the instrument to handle a variety of tasks with greater ease and less effort. In addition to all of the above, Somatic Voicework™ is unique in that all of the vocal exercises are focused on function. Somatic Voicework™ is based upon what the voice is doing, not just how the voice sounds. As an instructor, Jamie assists artists in preparation for auditions, performance and recording. "In working with artists, it is important to hone in on the specific need of the artist at that moment, while keeping an eye on the bigger picture of vocal health and sustainability. An artist needs to be able to find a place of comfort as they approach a performance, whether it be live or in the studio, while continuing to work their daily vocal exercise regimen." Jamie has directed, written for, and performed as a soloist and ensemble member of vocal jazz ensembles, a cappella groups, gospel choirs, and Off-Broadway musicals. She is an accomplished vocal arranger and songwriter, having placed top ten in the first International John Lennon Songwriting Contest. Jamie has participated in and co-led performance groups and has worked in collaboration with New York theater actors, including members of Project 400, creators of The Donkey Show and The Karaoke Show. She served as co-producer on her solo albums, Area, and "forward motion" and has produced vocals for artists' solo projects and commercial demos. As a featured soloist of the New York MetroMass Gospel choir, to which she contributed choral arrangements, Jamie has performed at venues such as Carnegie Hall, Avery Fischer Hall at Lincoln Center, and Town Hall. Jamie's training includes: Contemporary vocal pedagogy and coaching, Jeanie LoVetri @ The Voice Workshop; Contemporary vocal pedagogy and coaching, Cari Cole @ Cari Cole Voice Studios; Voiceover, Marla Kirban @ Marla Kirban Voiceover; Voice and Movement, Charles Hughes. Jamie is a voting member of NARAS and is affiliated with ASCAP, Songwriters Hall of Fame, AFTRA and SAG. She performs as a studio and back-up musician and is a commercial voice-over artist with the Don Buchwald Agency. She is an active yogini, continuously striving for balance, space and flexibility - both physical and spiritual. Greenwich Village location 30- and 50-minute sessions available ($45/ and $80/ respectively) Tuesdays 3 - 8:30 PM Fridays 3-7 PM Saturdays 11 - 6 PM