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Jennifer Jade Ledesna

JENNIFER JADE LEDESNA This triple-threat, stage mage, native Bronx polyglot is an alumna of the New School Jazz Conservatory & the “Famed” LaGuardia Arts. A Montreux Jazz Voice Competition Finalist, Equity actress, & "Betty Carter Jazz Ahead" composer, Ms. Jade often performs at "Aux Trois Mailletz" in Paris, “Jazz Na Avenida” in Bahia, & the legendary “Minton’s Playhouse” in Harlem, NYC. She's sung at Carnegie Hall w Bobby McFerrin in “INSTANT OPERA!”, in the World Premiere Tour of “CHAPEL/CHAPTER” w the Bill T. Jones / Arnie Zane Dance Co. She's graced the stages of the CHORUS Jazz Club in Lausanne, Norway's International “Silda Jazz Fest” w her group "RAJAFRO", Saint Croix's “Take Five Fest”, Santiago de Chile's "Teatro Municipal de Las Condes", & Austria's PORGY & BESS, to name a few. JJ starred as “Tinima” in the opera-musical HATUEY: MEMORY OF FIRE! & in the feature film SINCE I LEFT YOU as Tempest. She just returned from her Brazilian tour, performed in David Antonio Cruz’s “GREEN HOW I WANT YOU GREEN” at the MoAD in San Francisco, & is currently performing in Paris! Classically trained, Jennifer has studied with: Jim Carson, Anna Ext, Wynton Marsalis, Buster Williams, & Wycliffe Gordon. She studied drama at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute & the Bob McAndrew Studio, modern dance at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance, and clarinet at Dalcroze. Jenn has toured nationally in Theatreworks USA's jazz musical "Corduroy." Some of her favorite roles include: Hatuey (Tinima), The Wiz (Dorothy), Company (Marta), Carousel (Julie Jordan), Ntozake Shange’s Lulu En La Habana (Lulu), West Side Story (Maria), & I Am New York: Juan Rodriguez (Ama Caruka). Ms. Jade has had the spectacular honor of being invited twice, consecutively, to the prestigious Kennedy Center to debut her original compositions in the highly selective "Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Residency!" In Switzerland, she was a Finalist in the historical "Montreux Jazz Festival International Voice Competition 2007!" At the Kurt Elling Master Class, IAJE 2008 in Toronto, Canada she received an award for "Outstanding Musicianship." On television, Ms. Ledesna was featured on: Fox 5 "Good Day Street Talk"; Santiago de Chile's "Cultura Y Tiempo Libre"; France 2 "Envoye Special" Broadway; & Bronx News 12. She has also appeared as a Semi-Finalist on CBS 2's "Nueva Estrella Awards" - a Latin idol competition.  JJ has also appeared on the cover of The New York Times in the articles: "Review: Chutzpah? An Afro-Cuban-Yiddish Opera Worth a Schlep", "In The South Bronx, The Arts Beckon", "True Economic Barometer? How About Bowling", & Boite: "Soulful Music At Its Heart".

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"The fierce artistry of Jennifer Jade Ledesna, a smoky-voiced alto and feline dancer, as Tinima." -Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim (New York Times) "The cast of singer/actor/dancers is phenomenal, none more than Jennifer Jade Ledesna as Timina, the revolutionary center of the 1930s action, who functions as a modern-day Hatuey. From the moment she takes the stage alone in a spotlight, her movements are starkly precise and controlled, raising the stakes for everything that follows, as so much of the plot is played from and off of her: as the instigator of an armed insurrection; the lust object of the Cuban dictator Machado; and the muse of Penn’s epic poem, which spins out of her mind into his pen and comes out as the story we see played out in all its tragic consequences." -Seth Rogovoy (Forward Magazine) "Jennifer Jade Ledesna has the moves and the charisma, as well as the urgent vocalism for Tinima/La India." -John Yohalem (Congas On The Roof) "When Jennifer Jade Ledesna sang as Tinima, she delivered scintillating Cuban-style numbers with a heart-wrenching and soulful voice and an impressive range." -Anne E

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