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Alan Witschonke
Ledisi Rocks
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Ledisi
I did this portrait of Jazz/R&B singer Ledisi Young (www.ledisi.com) for the Recording Academy and it was published in the program book for the 50th Grammy Awards which took place on 2/10/08. I meant to post it then, but didn’t get to it. I was reminded of it recently when I got the schedule for the Burlington (VT) Discover Jazz Festival from 5/30 – 6/8. http://www.discoverjazz.com/tickets-events/artists/ledisi.php   Ledisi will open the festival on May 30th. It looks like a great line-up, including Josh Redman and the legendary Ornette Coleman.

For those who don’t know her, Ledisi is creating quite the buzz. Her 3rd album, Lost & Found (Verve), was nominated for two awards: Best New Artist and Best R&B Album. Her sound has been compared with that of Ella Fitzgerald and Erykah Badu. She seems equally at home scatting for the Count Basie Orchestra or fronting her own 12-piece R&B band. She’s also been described as having a “hip hop-spiced” sound. She took an independent approach to starting her career by self-producing her 1st albums. Without the backing of a major label, all sales were from the internet and word-of-mouth. Now she’s branching into film. Her music is the soundtrack for a speakeasy scene in George Clooney’s new movie “Leatherheads.” She also has a small acting role in the movie.
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