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Take Five With Leanne Weatherly

AAJ Staff By

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Meet Leanne Weatherly: Leanne self-produced her first album, Chocolate and Roses, and has co-produced her three song EP as well as her newest release Go and Find.. She has also produced and directed her own music videos including her Album Preview Video currently available for public viewing on You Tube.

"Leanne Weatherly is the next major voice to watch out for - she's got clarity, passion,and fun arrangements that anyone would enjoy, all wrapped up in a very bright future." ~Concord Artist Taylor Eigsti.

Instrument(s):

Voice.

Teachers and/or influences?

My music professor in Jr. College was one of my biggest influences. His music course inspired me to become a music major. I loved his talks about great composers and listening to him play piano.

My biggest musical influence now is my husband. His love for music has really inspired me to keep up my writing and practicing.

Your sound and approach to music:

My sound is kind of a cross between Norah Jones and Linda Ronstadt. I love writing songs that incorporate both jazz and pop genres.

Your teaching approach:

I have been a middle school music teacher for seven years now. My biggest philosophy is patience, patience, patience! (...and don't ever forget what you were like when you were that age. Yikes!)

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?

I think sharing my music and musical knowledge with my students has inspired them to love singing and playing their instruments. Of course, my hope is that they will continue performing music into adulthood.

How would you describe the state of jazz today?

I think live jazz in danger of disappearing in many places unfortunately. Music education is key to keeping our jazz audiences alive. So many young people are not exposed to a jazz education (or any music education for that matter). If they are not exposed at a young age to jazz music, it's hard for them to relate to it. This makes me very worried about the future of our listeners.

The economy has had a negative effect on jazz as well. There are less managers and venues who are willing to hire jazz groups because they can't afford to pay live musicians anymore.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?

Again, music education is key. We need to write our congressmen, vote for local parcel-tax initiatives, and donate to organizations that fund music in the schools. It's always such a battle to keep music and arts from being cut from schools. Communities who actively support music in their schools see less public school arts cuts than communities who do not support music.

What is in the near future?

I am currently working on writing new songs for my next album. Not sure when I will release this, but I am hoping within the next two years.

I am fortunate enough to be working with Concord Records' artist Taylor Eigsti. He has taught me a lot about arranging my own songs and has been great at really motivating me to keep working hard at it.

By Day:

I am a middle school band and choir director in Mountain View, CA. Tough job, long hours, but very rewarding! I have great kids in my program!!

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