New York City resident Jamie Leonhart is an introspective and risk-taking singer/songwriter whose dusky, melancholy and introspective yet ethereal work essentially falls into the adult alternative pop-rock category but has definitely been influenced by jazz, cabaret (including German cabaret), torch singing and traditional pre-rock pop. Leonhart has had a wide variety of direct or indirect influences, and they include Tori Amos, Joni Mitchell, Laura Nyro and the Beatles as well as Peggy Lee and the great German composer Kurt Weill. Leonhart, the granddaughter of a cantor, was born Jamie Obstbaum (Leonhart is her married name) in New York City in the early '70s and grew up in Leonia, NJ. As a teenager, she sang in a local jazz vocal ensemble--and as a young adult, she moved back to New York City to attend Barnard College, a women's liberal arts college that is affiliated with Columbia University and has been around since 1889. Leonhart graduated with a degree in English literature, and the late '90s found her singing lead for an NYC-based band called Methuselah Jones. But eventually, she became a full-time solo artist. Leonhart (who has played the violin, the glockenspiel, the harmonium and other instruments) released her first solo EP, Area, in 2002. At that point, she was still going by Jamie Obstbaum, but in September 2003 (when she was 31), she married Michael Leonhart--a busy trumpeter, guitarist and pianist who is the son of jazz bassist Jay Leonhart and jazz singer Donna Leonhart and has played with artists ranging from jazz improvisers like trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, tenor saxophonist Joshua Redman and singer Meredith D'Ambrosio to a reunited Steely Dan. Jamie Leonhart followed up her first EP with another self-released EP, Forward Motion, in 2006; all six of the songs on Forward Motion were subsequently heard on Leonhart's first full-length album, The Truth About Suffering, which was produced, arranged and mixed by Michael Leonhart and was released on the Sunnyside label in early 2008. ~ Alex HendersonPortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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