Leslie Blackshear Smith.
Composer, performer, author, vocalist, poet,
storyteller, teacher, student, songwriter, producer.
All Plans Paused For Now
I was flying into Gatwick on March 25th. Of course that's cancelled because we have to keep each other safe. I had big plans for tons of travel in 2020. I've been finishing up a 7 inch vinyl single with a social theme. Finishing my selections for "How Love Works, Part:2" I've started an unplugged duo project with my friend Joe Rusi, a wonderful musician I've been working with for a while. I had plans to book some fall festival work with our new project and was bringing some video of a live performance we recorded here in New Orleans after Ash Wednesday. I have no idea what the future holds for us now, my thoughts stay close to all of the Health care providers and emergency response Hero's working so hard to keep everyone alive every day while this Pandemic changes our world. I've posted one of my new songs to the right of this note. David Farrell engineered this live show. Aaron Harper shot video. I'll be here on the deck in my yard finding my way like everyone else. Love to you all.. and music. Take care of yourselves and each other. Leslie
Promising Artists of The 21st Century Program
I'll be introducing 4 talented musicians to their gifted counterparts in Costa Rica in partnership with the United States State Department and Centuro Cultural, Costa Rica.
Trevarri Huff-Boone, Taylor Mroski, Mark Anthony Thomas, Willie Green III
We will be conducting a series of performances and masters classes in San Jose, Limon' and elsewhere from 27/8/18 - 3/9/18. Locations and performance times to be posted shortly
Back to London again in September.. In May and July when I was there it was really WARM, but I've been told it's getting chilly again, which feels more 'Londonish' to me.
I've been meeting and working with some great musicians and hearing inspiring things. We'll see if I can build something strong enough to justify coming back three or four times a year. I hope so. I love writing there.
Making final songs choices for a six song EP. - Working title: "Rivers and Trains' or (INTERMISSION) - more unplugged.. I've fallen in love with guitar and I've been writing with that instrument in mind. I want to take an acoustic, stripped down direction with organic production that focuses on the lyric
I'm also looking at How Love Works; Part 2 and Race Street Jazz: Volume 2. I've got the songs written for the next round of 'How Love Works..' -I'll just have to find the money.. I have several notebooks of lyrics with the 'feel' of old standards that were written with Volume 2 of Race Street Jazz in mind, but I really want that to be more of a co-writing project.. we'll see how that pot brews..
-I've got a big, fat notebook full of what I'm calling 'political funk' songs. it's a bit rough to be an American right now for a majority of Americans. As a native of New Orleans, I default to funk with a groove when I have something harsh to say- and when things get dark, my tendency is to address it with humor-. We have too many folks yelling at each other these days and not enough folks listening to each other, making an effort to understand how we got here. Sometimes it's better to cross heavy ground with a light touch.. I also have few hammers in there., just in case..