Jazz vocalist Michelle LeBlanc has brought her repertoire of evocative songs to stages in New York City and the Hudson Valley since the early 1990ís. Her first steady gig as a jazz singer was with the Carmen Leggio Quintet in Peekskill NY. Audiences have raved about Michelleís performances at The Rainbow Room, The Friars Club, Riverside Chapel, The Mabel Mercer Cabaret Convention and in clubs, concerts, festivals and for gala fundraisers. “Michelle adds sophistication and glamour to our events. She is a charming, warm and intelligent chanteuse,” says M. Berdy, host of private events at the Friarís Club in New York City.
Michelle brings top tier jazz musicians together to perform with her in duo, trios and quintets. Her roster of musicians include Bill Crow, Ron Vincent, Ed Xiques, Hiroshi Yamazaki, Tom Kohl, David Amram, Steve Lamattina, Carmen Leggio, Joe Puma, Joe Stelluti, Bill Conway, Kevin Callaghan, John Arrucci, David Jones, Phil Forbes and Calloway Brooks.
I Remember You - 2011
Michelle shares love songs that evoke her past and highlights melodies “that touch the heart” in her new CD, I Remember You.
When Michelle released her first CD, Now or Never, jazz musician and composer David Amram called her “a natural ambassador to people of all ages who would like to feel at home with the classic jazz songs of the 20th Century.”
Michelleís growing repertoire includes shows that celebrate jazz music as a way of telling the story of America. Each concert traces the development of jazz and the historical trends that engendered this uniquely American art form. Michelle weaves stories around the tunes highlighting the composers, the musicians, and their times. This series of concerts, titled Jazz: The American Story has been performed by Michelle in concert halls, festivals, museums, libraries and for fund-raising events.
“The audience knows there will be musicianship of the highest order,” says James Shearwood, Artistic Director of Arts on the Lake in Kent NY.
Michelleís show ELLA! was commissioned by the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers, NY to celebrate the artistry and international career of Yonkers native Ella Fitzgerald. Michelle delights the audience by singing Ellaís favorite songs and telling stories that shed light on Ellaís triumphs as well as her struggles with cultural barriers, poverty and race.
Michelle honors great women jazz composers of the past century in her show called Women in Jazz which was commissioned by Southeast Museum in Brewster, NY. Her show includes songs composed by jazz luminaries including Billie Holiday, Peggy Lee, Mary Lou Williams and Abbey Lincoln.
Michelle draws many fans to her frequent duo and trio performances at Hudson Valley jazz clubs and to her concerts in libraries and arts centers which feature her talented quintet. She performs at gala fundraisers and festivals with her jazz combos. Michelle loves singing with big bands at summer festivals and venues such as the Rainbow Room in New York City.
Since 1999, Michelleís efforts as creator and producer of jazz music shows illuminating American culture have been made possible in part by 10 annual grants from the New York State Council on the Arts’ Decentralization Program. Michelle has received additional support for her concert series from museums, arts organizations, businesses and individual patrons.
In 2005, Michelle won the Best Performer award at Billy Taylorís Jazz In July Improvisation Workshop.
Michelle has studied with New York City vocal coaches Mary Cleere Haran, Sheila Jordon, Monica Robinson, Claude Stein, Nancy Marano, Doug Cohen and John Wallowitch.
Michelle grew up in a musical family, has traveled extensively and taught for many years in the public schools. She trained and worked as a carpenter but alas, failed as a short order cook. Michelle is a community organizer.