Bob Cole Conservatory of Music | California State University, Long Beach | College of the Arts

Portrait of Jennifer LeithamJennifer Leitham


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Jennifer Jane Leitham has been referred to by noted jazz critic Leonard Feather as the "left-handed virtuoso of the upright bass." In addition to her successful performance career, Jennifer has appeared on over 100 recordings with some of the giants of jazz music. In addition, she has recorded 6 highly acclaimed CDs of her own.

Jennifer is best known for her decade long stints with both Mel Torme’ and Doc Severinsen. She has appeared with many distinguished artists including Woody Herman, George Shearing, Gerry Mulligan, Peggy Lee, Joe Pass, Cleo Laine, Louis Bellson, Pete Rugolo, Bill Watrous, and numerous others. She has also been a member of the Tonight Show All-Stars, The Woody Herman Thundering Herd, Benny Carter Quintet, Bob Cooper Quartet, and more.

Jennifer has been invited to perform as a featured artist or group member at almost every major jazz festival in North America and many overseas. She is also enthusiastically received as a presenter at workshops and clinics around the country, including the International Society of Bassists convention this past year.

Jennifer's own highly regarded CD's include Leitham Up, The Southpaw, Lefty Leaps In, Live ! , and Two for the Road, (a duo performance with guitar virtuoso Jimmy Bruno). Her new CD, The Real Me features her original compositions, arrangements, and for the first time, her singing voice! Her trio performs for enthusiastic, diverse audiences on a regular basis.

Words of high praise for Jennifer Jane Leitham and these recordings come from many of today's jazz critics and publications :

"prodigious technique and improvisatory prowess promptly erase any emotion except awe." —J. Robert Bragonier, 52nd St. Jazz.

"As an improviser, Leitham has few peers." —Bill Kolhaase, LA Times.

"a unique level ... to effortlessly improvise with imagination, incredible skill and even a bit of humor." —Jim Ferguson, Jazz Times

" swinging high-energy performances and remarkable technique..." John T. Bitter, MusicHound Jazz.

"Combining her astonishing virtuosity with some exquisite soul, Jennifer Leitham brings in her trio to celebrate the success of her latest album, The Real Me. Some nice tunes on that one. She, (and her trio), make an organic whole that is really something live ... and something that all kinds of fans get into." —Brick Wahl, LA Weekly.

Performing on her Hofner bass, Jennifer is an artist/clinician for Hofner String Instruments. About her Hofner string bass model H5/12-BV she comments, "It carries enough bottom to play in an orchestra yet it still punches out pizzicato solos like a great jazz instrument." She is also an endorsee of Acoustic Image amplification, Raezer’s Edge speakers, Wilson pickup systems, and LaBella strings.


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Bob Cole Conservatory of Music
California State University, Long Beach
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