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Genres You Will Love
Blues: Acoustic Blues Spiritual: Traditional Gospel Folk: Traditional Folk Folk: Folk Blues Moods: Solo Female Artist

By Location
United States - California - LA United States - Texas United States - California

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Jennifer Leonhardt

Trained on classical violin since the age of seven and not allowed to listen to recorded music until her teens, Jennifer Leonhardt spent a lot of time onstage in frequent live performances by the time she was eighteen. Drawing comparisons to artists as disparate as Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash and Patti Smith, artists she spent little or no time listening to growing up as a per house rules, her delivery shows a completely unique approach to musical styling, combining seemingly opposing elements and drawing deeply from the blues, old poetry and miscellaneous mythologies. She's shared stages and festival billing with folks like Kevin Gordon, Tom Freund, Doug Burr, and Los Lonely Boys, adding up miles on an old Nikon documenting a time of unrest and change in her own life as well as the country, photos she posted on a blog she kept online until recently since 2005.

Born in Fort Worth TX, home to native sons Townes van Zandt and T Bone Burnett (a band mate of one of her uncles back in the '60s) to a family of musicians and singers helped develop her flexible approach to interpretation. Her parents moved the family to Washington DC when she was still a baby and she spent her early years on the east coast. With no television or stereo in the house, she spent long hours teaching herself piano and guitar after school, eventually listening to Thelonious Monk on a portable radio in her room late at night. Family time included harmonizing on everything from Appalachian traditionals to old-time spirituals, which gave her a broad musical vocabulary and became the necessary groundwork for keeping in line with her own vision: music for its own sake.

"Why this girl is not one of the top acts in the country is beyond me--her singing is like throwing a lit cigarette out a car window, she's an absolute runaway wildfire. Her band's live show is some of the hardest, rootsiest rhythm-n-blues-'grass ever."
-Don Wolff, Talent Buyer/South Padre Island Music Festival

"Jennifer Leonhardt knocked our socks off. Easily the best Sandbox concert ever."
-Lucinda Wierenga, Sandbox Inn House Concerts

"Jennifer leads the Whalers with a delivery touching on everyone from Chrissie Hynde to Edie Brickell."
-Dante Dominick,

"Her performance is very free and spirited, reflective of time spent with old jazzmen and young dreamers."
-Duggan Flanakin, Flanfire Blogspot

"Some songs she did soft and soulful; on others her voice emphasized a raw, ragged and howlin' urban-blues folk-rock pathos. The tunes are tremendous. She's a music phenomenon who's star is rising -very much one of a kind."
-Aeliot Boswell, KPAS-TV, Los Angeles

"Jennifer makes music with so much abandon and passion and still with such delicacy and finesse that her performance both mesmerizes and invigorates."
-Pricilla Gilman, literary agent

"The first time I met Jennifer was onstage. We were playing songs from her latest CD and cut 5, which is [her cover of Billie Holiday's] "Strange Fruit", jumped out at me. As I plugged in I knew I was in for a deep experience. Ive checked out her website and earlier music since: if she ever runs for office, she's got my vote."
-Ritchie Mintz, musician

(Photo by Holly Bronko (c) 2009)