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.”