Singer/Songwriter, published author and poet, musician/performer, recording artist- Leslie Blackshear Smith; New Orleans musician.
Born in a City with a rich, vibrant musical landscape, Leslie was able to sharpen her skills under the guidance of outstanding teachers.
Singing on the street in her early teens, she was quickly noticed and invited to perform in local clubs, and to do session work, singing at the famed SeaSaint Studios and elsewhere.
By age 19 Leslie was featured in the book; 'Up From The Cradle Of Jazz' in the chapter "A New Generation Comes Of Age".
Her first released recording placed her in exalted company with artists Aaron Neville, Allen Toussaint, Irma Thomas, Al Hirt, Pete Fountain, John Lee and The Heralds of Christ, and Luther Kent on the Album "A Creole Christmas".
Leslie continues to record with, write for, and perform with an impressive list of top players from her hometown and around the world.
She has performed on the street, headlined at Lincoln Center, Neighborhood bars, the Apollo Theater, multiple New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festivals, and other major Festival events at home and abroad.
Leslie was named an influential woman of Jazz in New Orleans by the Jazz and Heritage Festival Foundation and was documented for their archives in 2001-
Smith was named a Louis Armstrong Airport Cultural Ambassador in 2002.
She received a certificate of appreciation from the Louisiana Music Commission for her contributions to Louisiana music
She received a proclamation from the New Orleans City Council in 2008 for her “gift of song, magnanimous presence, and beautiful voice”, and has received numerous accolades from her peers.
Her voice and her writing grace a long list of recordings.
Leslie's poetry has been published in Sun Magazine, Twisted South Magazine and elsewhere.
Her first book, a journalistic narrative history of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, was written for e/prime publications and published in 2005, shortly before Hurricane Katrina.
Leslie Blackshear Smith is currently touring, teaching, writing, recording and continuing to explore all facets of creative expression.