Few only dream of the life that Jennifer Leitham has been so fortunate to lead. Leitham has smelled the sweet scent of fame, tasted the salt of hatred and prejudice and blossomed among the cindered ashes of an old identity. Most have never had the opportunity to stand next to stars let alone perform with them Ms. Leitham has done both. Her experiences cover a broadband of performances with jazz greats like Mel Torme, Ed Shaughnessy and who can forget her numerous televised sessions with the “Tonight Show’s”, Doc Severinson. Jennifer’s process in developing her musicianship has been a dream come true. Her talent and musical skills have consistently led her from one legend to another and being one of a few left hand bass players in the world, let’s just say, that her hand is quicker than our eye. Jennifer also came out over the years, as Jennifer, thus leaving an entire life of pain, heartbreak and gender misidentification. Her plight of establishing true self-identity and non-conformity are certainly admirable. When asked of her former life, Jennifer politely, and in a shy way, answers, “I really don’t consider that person ever being me”. With music, specifically jazz music running at the forefront of her life, Jennifer Leitham has truly been successful at blending, talent, experience, and life lessons into a bold splash of hope. “I Stand Corrected,” Jennifer’s coming out piece and award winning documentary, re-visits all of the memories and changes made during that time.
I want to pose a question to our readers, if you woke up one morning, such as the case in many Hollywood movies, for example, Tom Hanks, “Big”, and knew with your whole heart and soul, that you were really someone else or wanted to be someone else, what would you do? Well, unlike, Hollywood’s, “Big”, which gave the illusion of having a safe and happy way to make yourself into someone else by simply going down to the Santa Monica Pier, and inserting a quarter to get your fortune told. Well in Jennifer Leitham’s case, the movie was a not made for Hollywood. There were no awards given for courage, social adaptation, a public set aside for ridicule or wife to spouse of 15 years who suddenly leaves, when life makes way for dramatic changes.
What would we do without the arts, and rest assured, the world would have surely fallen on our heads if a talent like Leitham’s had been fully repressed. The timeline of Jennifer’s success can be traced back to the first time that she held a guitar initially in her right hand. As a young girl, Leitham was full of vigor and clearly headed in the direction of being a major music player. Fans of the jazz virtuoso requested her “Left Coast Story,” a collection made in 2008. Noted as a rarity in entertainment circles, Jennifer has performed over 40 times in Carnegie Hall with the late Mel Torme, seen and traveled the world over with famed legendries, Peggy Lee, George Shearing, Woody Herman, Ruth Carter and a host of others. K. D. Lang and Severinson made considerable use of Ms. J’s vocal abilities and her talent in arrangement, composition, and the writing of lyrics.
Leitham became an excellent go to when other musicians became unavailable. The go to got her in front of some very important eyes. Those important eyes have shown her to the world. A truly unique individual, this jazz great and now iconic musician is a very eloquent and tender deliverer of sounds, and one of the most sincere and gentle people that I have yet to meet. Keeping this in mind, it would be correct in saying that jazz in its traditional form is non-accepting of Jennifer’s uniqueness however, somewhat ahead of her time, social media and online crowd-funding platforms like her new, Triple Play Project on Indie-gogo have helped Jennifer to develop her own label, Sinistral Records. The performer is quite clear when it comes to telling the origins of the word sinister, which actually has several standard meanings, however, it also has the meaning, “of or on the left hand side.” Now and always, Leitham has been actively involved with education, which helps to expand her developed and ever evolving level of creativeness. Having played and gigged with the best, there are no words to express the delectable sounds of the trio that Leitham sustains through Sinistral. The label is presently campaigning to release Leitham’s, 9th album.
A first of a three-part CD release series, Jennifers not having the restrictions and confinements of traditional label marketing and promotion, gives her the freedom to make her own music as well as, record and mix with whomever she pleases. The first part of independent campaign series, is a new disc, which is both a compilation of new material and existing songs from past performances by her trio.
The artist has a great knack of timing the release of new music and lyrics. The processes of the making of her new pieces are being recorded in a diary format. The 2nd part of the campaigns recordings are to come in a holiday-based theme, giving new and not so new arrangements as treats, that can easily slide down any chimney or mailbox. Jennifer mentions her necessity of needing or not, a new song that will reflect the bassist own special mood for the holiday season. It is sure to satisfy all that hear it no matter what their origin of belief might be. Finally, the third portion of the Leitham’s project will focus on solo bass recordings ,”Cast Your Fate To The Wind”, on “Left Coast Story”, and Keni’s song of both, “The Real Me’ and The Real Me Live”.
As for Jennifer, standing corrected has to be the most comfortable pair of shoes that a girl could ever want to wear. For more information on the Jennifer Leitham Trio Indie-gogo Triple Play campaign go to http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/jennifer-leitham-triple-play-project. To become a Jennifer Leitham Trio fan https://www.facebook.com/jennifer.leitham/events and for Jennifer’s itinerary, hit the link http://www.jenniferleitham.com/itinerary.htm.