Midwest Record Recap - Sept. 2004 Lesley Spencer Joy Garden 'Spencer shifts gears for her new outing for something more intimate and inner space oriented. She's still making music that's too cool for mass consumption but right up the alley for the gourmet, and this tasty offering can be appreciated in listening sessions or as background any place some soothing, non-pablum, adult music is needed. Evoking all your fave adult adjectives like warm, romantic, soothing, etc., this quietly joyful set is the kind of thing that can prove an adult underground exists. Well done.' Smother.net - Sept. 2004 Lesley Spencer Joy Garden 'Lesley Spencer teams up with member of The Chamber Pop Ensemble to produce a glorious piano-based modern orchestra album. Touching on contemporary pieces that idle between traditional chamber music and classical, Lesley Spencer adds to an impressive career. Perfect album to help deal with stress without falling into the snooze-zone that many chamber pop albums can dwindle in.' Amazing Sounds - Sept. 2004 Lesley Spencer 'JOY GARDEN' Gabriella Music 'Fifteen themes of a romantic nature, mostly with an optimistic focus, in the hands of this composer of an exquisite sensitivity. Starting from an approach near to New Instrumental Music and Symphonic Classicism, Lesley Spencer unites elements from these and other trends, shaping pieces where the melody is at all times remarkable. The music has in the piano it's main vehicle of expression. This composer displays a great performing strength with her chosen instrument.' VIRGINIA TAMAYO ARTIST BIO - LESLEY SPENCER (ASCAP) composer/pianist/producer/philanthropist Lesley Spencer was born into a military family in Puerto Rico and traveled extensively as a child - living many places in the U.S. and abroad. Recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts & Wyoming Arts Council, she has worked as a professional accompanist, music director, arranger, producer and recording artist. Lesley began her playing career at the University of Wyoming and after a season of working at the San Francisco Opera she moved to Chicago where she worked for many years as an Urban Gateways Artist and as an instructor for Victory Gardens Theater. She has written and produced several CDs of piano based music which transcend the ordinary. Her music has a strong visual quality evoking a wide range of emotions from the listener. Her earlier recordings,'INSIDE THE MELODY, & PASSIONATE JOURNEY,' have established Lesley as an artist of unique talents. Ever evolving as an arranger, Lesley worked with some of the brightest lights in the Chicago music scene on her CDs,'A MOVEABLE FEAST' - her first Latin Chamber Pop Ensemble CD released in 1999, and the sequel'THE BEST OF TIMES', released in 2000. Both CDs featured internationally acclaimed guitarist Fareed Haque. In 2001 Lesley teamed up with Fareed Haque to produce 'AUTHENTIC FLAVORS' - Lesley Spencer & The Latin Chamber Pop Ensemble - featuring Fareed Haque & guest soloist - Jim Gailloreto. Also joining the production team for 'AUTHENTIC FLAVORS' were well known Chicago arrangers Pete Labella and Ricardo Lorenz. Recorded at STUDIOCHICAGO - 'AUTHENTIC FLAVORS' was released in May of 2002. In the summer of 2002 - inspired by the thoughts, prayers, and sentiments of countless e-mails from people who were struggling to digest and put into perspective the tragic events of 9/11 - Lesley released an enhanced CD single and a video of her 'SEPT 11TH ANTHEM'. It captures in words & music the essence of that struggle and infuses it with hope - providing us with an ANTHEM truly appropriate for the 21st century. 'SEPT 11TH ANTHEM ' was the subject of an NBC CHANNEL 5 news story in Chicago by Mary Ann Ahern which was broadcast on 7/02/2 & 7/3/02. Co-produced by Lesley Spencer & Pete Labella, the ANTHEM features some of the finest professional choral singers & musicians in Chicago. GS 2000, Inc., a multimedia and video production company, produced the accompanying video which greatly enhances the experience of listening to the music. In 2003 Lesley completed her most ambitious CD to date 'CLASSICAL DELIGHT' - Lesley Spencer/The Latin Chamber Pop Ensemble & Orchestra. Pete Labella was the head arranger, Ricardo Lorenz the guest arranger - and Fareed Haque the featured guitar soloist - with special guests Glen Ellyn Children's Chorus - Emily Ellsworth, Director. Other guests soloists include: Jim Gailloreto, Rob Parton and Everett Zlatoff-Mirsky. 'CLASSICAL DELIGHT'can be heard frequently on NPR's nationally syndicated programs Morning Edition and Weekend Edition. An active fund raiser, Lesley was honored by NIKE for being the top fund raiser in the country for the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society's Team In Training - for the Chicago 2003 Marathon, her first ever marathon race. Prior to that, she has donated thousands of her CDs to many not-for-profit organizations to use for their fundraising purposes including: - Children's Memorial Hospital - The American Foundation For The Blind - The Chicago Food Depository - The Hunger Project - The Heartland Alliance - The Latin School - The Seldoms Dance Company - The People's Music School - Uptown Board of Ministers And during her eight year tenure as Music Director for Victory Garden's Theater's Annual Casting Auction she helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Theater. Lesley's music has been licensed for several audio & video projects including inspirational cassettes by cosmetics doyenne & motivational speaker Marilyn Miglin - and most recently her orchestral tour de force 'TRIBUTE' - from 'CLASSICAL DELIGHT' - was chosen to be the main theme of a PBS documentary called 'Stones From the Soil'- filmed & directed by Chicago filmmaker, Michael Caplan, and due to be aired in May of 2005. In addition to working as a freelance musician in Chicago, Lesley also works on special projects for Radio City Recording, teaches privately and hangs out with her two golden retrievers -Molly & Oliver.