Leslie Blackshear Smith

Leslie Smith, photo by Zack Smith
Photo by Zack Smith

Leslie Smith was born in New Orleans and started out singing on the street but was quickly invited by the finest musicians in the Crescent City to play in the premier music venues. By 17 she reigned on the club scene and by age 19 was featured in the book "Up From The Cradle of Jazz" as the future of New Orleans music.

Leslie has performed and recorded with a Who's Who of New Orleans' finest artists including Ellis Marsalis and Allen Toussaint, who calls her "One of Louisiana's greatest treasures". In 2002, she was named, "A Cultural Ambassador of New Orleans music", by Mayor Marc Morial and featured in a mural for the Armstrong International Airport documenting influential artists. Leslie received a certificate of appreciation by the Louisiana Music Commission and was filmed by the Jazz and Heritage Foundation for the library archives documenting important women in jazz. Leslie has done radio and television appearances all over the United States and other countries.

Ms. Smith has had a varied and interesting recording career, with multiple CD's in many different styles including jazz, R&B and gospel. Smith has also had her songs recorded and released by other artists in a variety of disciplines. She has performed at many New Orleans Jazz Fests, Lincoln Center, and many regional, national and international festivals. She is also a songwriter, producer, and author.