The Kennedy Center

Lena Seikaly



Biography

Lena Seikaly is a fresh new voice on the national jazz scene from Washington D.C. Having received compliments and praise from the likes of Curtis Fuller, Nathan Davis, Robert Glasper, Christian McBride, Roberta Gambarini and Carmen Lundy, her sound is inspired directly by the great jazz vocalists, mixed with an interpretive ingenuity reminiscent of legendary improvisers Sarah Vaughan and Betty Carter. She was a participant at the 2009 Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., a prestigious program open to young performer-composers of jazz – there, she studied closely with greats Dr. Billy Taylor, Curtis Fuller, Winard Harper, George Cables, Nathan Davis, Carmen Lundy and Chip Jackson. She was also a 2005 participant at the Jazz Aspen Snowmass program directed by Christian McBride, where she studied closely with McBride and his band, vocalist Nnenna Freelon and Loren Schoenberg. She is also a Strathmore Artist-in-Residence for the 2009-2010 season at Bethesda, Maryland’s renowned Strathmore Music Center, and sold out both of her residency performances at the Strathmore Mansion. As a featured vocalist with six ensembles in and around D.C., including her own trio, quartet and quintet, she has performed at the North Sea Jazz Festival (Holland), the Ascona Jazz Festival (Switzerland), several jazz venues in France during a month-long tour, the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee (CA), and various local festivals. She has had the pleasure of singing with jazz greats Christian McBride, John Eaton, and Eddie Locke.

Lena has appeared at local venues such as the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, the Strathmore Mansion, Twins Jazz, Blues Alley, the Smithsonian Jazz Cafe, the Smithsonian Sculpture Garden, the Atlas Theater, the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, and has been featured on D.C.’s jazz radio station, WPFW 89.3. Professionally, she served as the vocal jazz instructor at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts during the 2008-09 school year, and is currently a private jazz and classical voice instructor in Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia. As an accomplished composer and arranger in various styles of jazz, Lena released her first solo album, “Written in the Stars,” in February 2009. Her group’s repertoire consists of classic and re-invented jazz standards, as well as original jazz compositions by Lena.
Lena Seikaly