Ledisi (pronounced led-duh-see and meaning “to bring forth”), Young has been on a stage most of her life. By the age of 8, with the support of her mother who was a singer in an R&B group, Ledisi performed with her local symphony orchestra.
Her musical journey took her to UC Berkeley to study piano. While in the Bay Area, she earned great reviews as a vocal stylist and featured artist in a production of “The Wiz.” Her sound is a mix of contemporary urban, but her training and love of classic jazz and R&B show through, and her love of scatting has become a signature.
This galvanizing all-natural wonder who hails originally from New Orleans, grew up in Oakland. Her first solo album, “Soulsinger,” received critical acclaim. In 2002, she released “Feeling Orange” and then “Sometimes Blue. Lost & Found.”
Ledisi played a pivotal role with inspired characters and musical transitions during the composing of music for Oprah Winfrey’s Tony-winning stage adaptation of “The Color Purple.” She also understudied Tony Kushner/George C. Wolfe’s Off-Broadway production of “Caroline, or Change.” This year Ledisi received two Grammy nominations for Best New Artist and Best R&B Album, a BET Award nomination, and made her film debut in George Clooney’s “Leatherheads.”
After a recent stop in Los Angeles for her highly energized performance at the JVC Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl, Ledisi is hanging around for a few additional weeks at Reprise Theatre Company to re-visit her musical theatre side as a featured artist in the multiple Tony Award nominated musical, “Once on this Island”. This Caribbean inspired production will take place at the Freud Playhouse at UCLA from Sept. 2-14, 2008. Ledisi plays the role of Asaka, Mother Earth and says, “I have always loved Broadway musicals and this show allows me to be the griot (storyteller) that I was meant to be.”
Based on the novel, My Love, My Love by Rosa Guy and from the team of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty ( “Ragtime and Seussical”), this spirited musical fable is filled with enchanting rhythms and island melodies. “I get to tell this beautiful story about the power of love eight times a week” said the performer. “I also get to make it my own, along with working with some of the most amazing Broadway artists in the Los Angeles region.”
For more information about Ledisi, please visit www.ledisi.com and Reprise Theatre Company www.reprise.org.