Whether you're celebrating a pre-schooler's birthday, a wedding, a 60th birthday or seeking entertainment for a corporate/private event, you want an eclectic, sensitive artist with years of experience to bring just the right touch, musically and personally.
A favorite of the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, LEA has been repeatedly recognized by the Washington Area Music Association as "one of the area's best female vocalists, songwriters and artists."
LEA's original music is Soul-Folk (a la Joni Mitchell, John Mayer, Bonnie Raitt). She also excels at performing nearly every popular genre, including: jazz, pop, country, r&b, rock, reggae and gospel.
Right from the time I contacted Lea, she was a great pleasure to work with. She collaborated and advised me about songs to sing at my parent's 50th anniversary. On the day of the party, she was just amazing! She had the crowd from the get-go - they were singing along with her and dancing. Even though we had agreed on a set number of songs in our contract, she stayed on happily when guests took over the mike - she even encouraged it! She closed by picking a beautiful song (All you need is love) and everyone stood in a circle under the stars and held hands and sang along with her - a memorable moment that I will always be grateful to her for - she made my parent's anniversary party memorable. Thank you Lea!!
LEA was FABULOUS! Huge hit at our Flats130 Resident Appreciation Week event!
Lea was awesome at my daughter's 3rd birthday party! She played great songs that the kids loved. She included all our special requests for certain songs and including different instruments. I highly recommend her services. She is very professional and her service is well worth the money.
Lea was awesome. I had unfortunately waited until the last minute to finalize a plan to surprise my wife on our 25th anniversary. I contacted Lea on Wed and she agreed to perform that Saturday. She had to arrange to be in a certain spot at a certain time and it all came off without a hitch. Her rendition of "Stand by Me" (our wedding song) was so heartfelt that it brought tears to all of us. I cannot say enough about her professionalism, communication, and style.
Lea played for my son's 1 year old birthday party for a mixed group of kids ranging from 1-9. She played a wide array of songs from different cultural backgrounds. I am so glad that another musician suggested her to me. Don't be misled by her website - she is great for kids. She was right on time - sadly we were running behind and I was grateful that she was very patient and accommodating when she did not have to be. I would highly recommend her especially for younger children or for culturally diverse groups .
This is LEA performed for our annual Independence Weekend BBQ. From the first notes of "America the Beautiful" through soulful renderings of popular songs interspersed with her own compositions Lea performed a magical soundtrack for a solid three hours. But more than that Lea interacted with our guests, playing requests and allowing our younger guests a turn at the microphone. On the business side Lea was the consummate professional making it easy to communicate and make arrangments. Our guests were effusive in their feedeback, "We love Lea!" That sums it up.
Response from This is LEA:
Thanks again for letting me be part of your celebration. I told you then how impressed I was by your gathering. What an honor to bring music to such a special group! Wishing you all a terrific summer and thank you for the kind words.
Lea came to provide music for my wife's 50th birthday party. She arrived right on time, got herself set-up and started to play. She made sure the volume was appropriate, asked several times if we had special requests for music or if we wanted to borrow the microphone. She really did everything she could to help make the event special for us, rather than just another gig for her. Plus the music was REALLY good.
Response from This is LEA:
Thank you so much for the invitation to be part of your party. It was an honor and a pleasure to help your celebrate!
I am not sure if any language is suitable to convey the magical quality that "This is Lea" brings to the audience. I have seen and heard her perform and speak several times over the years and with each performance the goosebumps, tears of joy, bliss, toe tapping happiness is ever-present!
I strongly encourage you to contact her and book her for your engagements. Her heart-felt, soulful, inspiring, and love driven music is sure to touch, transform, and entertain!
I have had the immense pleasure of working with LEA as a performing and teaching artist in a multitude of places over the past several years, in both small and large concert settings, from festivals to memorial gatherings, events for children, families and adult, song-writing workshops, and Community Sings. LEA is a consummate performer and one of the finest, most generous and inspiring people on this planet: extraordinarily creative and compassionate. I recommend her whole-heartedly for every opportunity that comes her way. Her talents as a musician, singer, songwriter, recording artist, workshop leader, collaborator, teacher, parent, collector and arranger of songs are out-of-this-world, and she is a complete joy to work with.
MAGICAL is the adjective that comes to mind when we think of our wedding day. When we say magic, we’re not talking Siegfried & Roy or David Copperfield. We’re talking about LEA, because her magic is real. There’s a trance that came upon our wedding guests with each stroke of the guitar she made on our big day. It added to the already beautiful atmosphere of being married by the Chesapeake Bay. When she opened her mouth to sing, this warm velvety voice reached out, like a Siren of the sea, leading us down the aisle and to the alter.
We would hire her again without a second thought. She was on time. She was kind. She was gracious.
She was MAGICAL.
I hired Lea for a couple of marriage proposals. The clients loved her vocals and she was professional, on-time, and accommodating with my requests. I will definitely be hiring her again.
I decided to hire Lea because I wanted to add a little more vivacity to my 30th Birthday Party. Bottom-line, it was one of the best decisions I could have made. Not only is she extremely professional, responsive, prompt and great all around, she has a heck of a voice (very smooth, dynamic and beautiful), she is a very talented guitar player and she is extremely versatile and flexible. For example, she was somehow able to take the mixed genres that I’m interested in and yet also stay flexible enough to play songs impromptu, which were prompted by my guests at my party. At one point during separate occasions, myself, my brother and my nieces all got up to perform with Lea and it really added to the experience. Most performers would stray away from this (element of the unknown), but she faced that challenge head on and did it flawlessly. I’m pretty particular on live performances because some people just don’t perform well live, so I was hesitant on hiring a performer--However, Lea is extremely gifted and blessed and far exceeded my expectations. I am so glad that I made the decision to hire her for my event. My guests raved and continue to rave how much she added to the brilliance of the party. If we have another event and want a live performer, I will, without hesitation, hire Lea again—she was outstanding--Bravo!
Lea performed at my two-year-old son's birthday party and did an excellent job. She showed up on time and just did a great performance.
She had a tough job because we had a mix of children of all ages from 17 months to 10 years of age (A few of the younger children were not able to attend so we had more older children). She really was able to get all of the children excited and involved in the music. She has a great demeanor with the children. The performance was interactive and hands on with percussion instruments. She had great energy very engaging but not over the top. What I like the most is that she has good experience with children as she teaches music for the earlychildhood population (THAT really sold me being a former Pre-K Teacher).
I would definitely hire her and people asked me over and over how I found LEA! My husband and I were VERY pleased by her work as well as my two-year-old who dance and sang to ALL of his favorite songs. She even learned a RAFFI song that my son LOVES!
Response from This is LEA:
Ivy, thanks for the positive review. Your Matty was the most enthusiastic birthday boy I've had the pleasure of singing with.
Lea was a fantastic addition to the party. Her music got everyone in a fun mood. She has a beautiful voice and a gracious presence. She sang several songs requested for specific people there, and even a song for the kiddies. She helped make my 70th birthday the best ever. I highly recommend her.
Response from This is LEA:
Thank you, Barbara. It was an honor and a pleasure to be part of your beautiful celebration!
Lea did a fantastic job when we invited her to perform at our daughter's first birthday. We are a bilingual couple so it was very important for us to find a performer who could sign in English and Spanish. Lea was very kind to sing in both languages and even went the extra mile by learning and singing our daughter's favorite 2 songs that were not in her original repertoire. She did a great job engaging the kids of all ages and encouraged adult participation as well. We enjoyed her performance and highly recommend her anytime.
Response from This is LEA:
Muchas gracias, Isabel. My Spanish is not the strongest, but I love bringing elements of different cultures into what I do, especially with kids!
Lea is a talented musician who always has a smile and is a joy to work with. She blends folk, jazz and other styles into her own sound, that she shares joyfully. Her rich voice is definitely a treat. Always prompt, and easy going, she is a warm soul and a real pleasure!
We asked Lea to perform at a Whole Earth children's festival and she was just terrific! She invited children to grab an instrument (drums, maracas, etc...) or sing along with her using her extra microphone. Her music was very playful and just right for this crowd!
Lea gives professionalism with spirit! She engages the audience with an eclectic mix of uplfiting/feel good songs!!! Her voice is sultry, soulful and sincere!!! She is authentic in presentation and presence! What a gift!!
What to Expect
You can expect an exuberant performance with vocals that have been described as "powerful, engaging and dynamic" a strong musical sense and a tasteful approach. I always recognize whether the occasion is ripe for a quiet atmospheric music or a rollicking, interactive good time.
When you hire me, you can expect to be impressed with the music and pleased with your choice of a world class performer who is easy to work with.
As desired, I can also bring an additional guitarist, an electric bassist, an upright bass, a percussionist, a drummer or other instrumentalists who are equally talented and as committed to making your event shine.
LEA is more than simply a singer songwriter. She is an ambassador of uplifting, thought provoking and positive music. Her sound seamlessly blends gospel, jazz, country and R&B into her own brand of “feel-good” contemporary folk. Her style draws comparisons to Tracy Chapman’s bluesy folk, Joni Mitchell’s exquisite songcraft, and Ani DiFranco’s inventive guitar playing. This is LEA; she is all of this and more.
Born into a musical family in Baltimore, her father toured the world playing trumpet in the funk band Black Heat, and her mother performed with the Jones Family Gospel Singers. After relocating to the suburbs of Washington, DC she soon discovered classic rock and quickly taught herself to play the acoustic guitar. In high school LEA studied in Germany at a classical conservatory, where she sang with the jazz ensemble Black & White and co- wrote with the British pop trio Indigo Wild.
LEA has shared the stage with luminaries including Dar Williams, Anthony Hamilton, and Mavis Staples. She performs across the world at venues as diverse as arts centers, universities, festivals, coffeehouses, nightclubs, vineyards, and places of worship. Her dynamic, energetic presence has graced The Strathmore, Kennedy Center, Birchmere, and Wolf Trap in Washington, DC. This is LEA.
LEA has released 7 full-length albums in a recording career spanning more than a decade, and has been nominated for multiple awards by the Washington Area Music Association. She is also a graduate of the prestigious Artist-in-Residence program at the Strathmore Music Center in Bethesda, MD. Her soon-to-be released eighth album, “All There Is (Love)”, is an unintentional lyrical successor to the Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love.” Her new songs are less narratively focused and more an expression of her evolution as a person and a performer - a life-affirming manifesto of “feel good” music. This is LEA.
LEA aspires to fill churches and concert halls, and jam with artists both spiritual and secular. In addition to her musical pursuits, LEA’s goals include continuing her work with children, recapturing her passion for acting, and nurturing a newfound interest in writing fiction.
This is LEA.
Additional Booking Notes
I am able to provide sound support for my own performance. All I will need from you is electricity.
Past Booked Events
|November 16, 2014||Funeral Service|
Typically, I like to cater my set list to the preferences of the employer. Sometimes, I will even learn songs for the occasion.
If left to my own devices, my set lists may look something like this:
Jambo (call and response - sing- along song))
BINGO (kids play along on hand drums)
Hop Little Bunnies (dance and move along)
You'll Sing a Song (call and response - sing - along song)
If You're Happy and You Know It (dance and move along)
This Old Man (bluesy version of the old classic)
Shake That Mango Tree (invite kids to play shakers that I provide)
Pass the Ring (a party game with music)
Wheels on the Bus, Old MacDonald and so on with favorites from Raffi, Ella Jenkins ...
Adult's or General Audience:
Woodstock (Joni Mitchell)
Another Sunny Day (original)
Superstition (Stevie Wonder)
Put Your Records On (Corinne Bailey Rae)
Redemption Song (Bob Marley)
For What It's Worth (Buffalo Springfield - a great sing along)
A Little Help from my Friends (The Beatles)
|Will Henderson (optional)||electric bass|
|Dan Hall (optional)||upright bass|
|Larry Ferguson (optional)||drums|
|Tony Harvin (optional)||saxophone|
|Keith Grimes (optional)||guitar|
|Kristen Jones (optional)||cello|
|Kristen Arant (optional)||hand percussion|
|Avril Smith (optional)||guitar, mandolin|
|Bruce Lebovitz (optional)||electric violin, zen drum|
Influences & Inspiration
In some way, I am influenced and improved every time I hear music. My original sound is often compared to Tracy Chapman, Joni Mitchell and Bonnie Raitt. When I perform with children, I have been told I have the earnest energy and care of Steve from Blues Clues.
My tastes in music and friends are eclectic and that is reflected in everything I do.
I can provide my own sound support.
If you prefer to do so, I would require at least a microphone and direct input for acoustic/electric guitar.