Leslie Maclean, pianist, composer, vocalist and teacher, has been a professional musician since the age of 13. While in college, Leslie worked extensively with free jazz proponent Muhul Richard Abrams. Her imaginative and artistic performance at the Midwest Intercollegiate Jazz Festival won her the esteemed American Music Foundation Award, granted to the single outstanding instrumental soloist at the event. Leslie was deemed the best by judging panelist Marian McPartland, who presented the award.
She has appeared as a warm-up act for jazz legend Stan Kenton, and has appeared at many top Chicago jazz clubs and on television and radio. Leslie has also performed with guitarist Mundell Lowe and drummer Roy Burns. She cites as one of her main influences the music of the Big Bands, and enjoys bringing the ensemble-style articulations of the big band sound into her playing and her arrangements.
Her piano style also owes much to her background in classical music and displays a satisfying depth of touch and sensitivity to the piano keyboard. Leslie’s original tunes reflect her wide-ranging musical interests and run the gamut from straight-ahead swing and well-crafted ballads to driving Latin rhythms and jazz fusion. She earned a Master of Music in piano performance at the Chicago Musical College of Roosevelt University.
Originally from Chicago, the Leslie Maclean Trio appeared at many of that city’s top jazz clubs including Orphan’s on Lincoln Avenue, The Bulls on Lincoln Park West, and The Back Room on Rush Street. The group now performs throughout the Midwest region where it continues to play unique, exciting and passionate renditions of jazz classics as well as Leslie’s original compositions.