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MUSIC - Lena Seikaly - Vocalist

REVIEWS   -   VIDEOS


Lena is a native of Falls Church, Virginia. She is the regular singer for several traditional jazz, swing dance, straight-ahead, Latin jazz and fusion groups in the D.C. area, and has appeared at numerous national and international festivals and venues.

Her sound is immediately reminiscent of the great jazz vocalists mixed with the interpretive ingenuity of bebop and modern jazz, while peppering influence from her Arabic heritage.

She has had the pleasure of working and studying with some of the world’s top names in jazz, as well as classical voice (she is a classically trained mezzo-soprano) and Arabic music.

Lena released her first solo album, "Written in the Stars", a collection of standards and original compositions in 2009, "Lovely Changes" in 2011 and "Looking Back" in 2013.  Lena can be found entertaining in numerous venues and music festivals in the DC area.

REVIEWS:

Looking Back -
Lena Seikaly (2013)


"D.C. jazz singer Lena Seikaly is known for her luscious way with harmonies, but you have to strip them away to hear just how good she really is. “Love You Madly,” set deep into Looking Back—Seikaly’s exploration of neglected tunes from the 1920s and ’30s—features the D.C. vocalist in a plain-faced duet with bassist Zack Pride. Her control, precision, and phenomenal time are easy to hear, and if the warm read of Duke Ellington’s lyrics doesn’t do the trick, she also takes three separate scat breaks."
~ Michael J. West - WashingtonPost.com


Lovely Changes -
Lena Seikaly (2011)


"While most recent college grads have been floundering, flailing and generally grasping at straws to find any kind of employment, 25-year-old Lena Seikaly has instead managed - against all odds - to become one of Washington's preeminent jazz singers. She put out an album, and a good one at that. She was selected for the Kennedy Center's prestigious Betty Carter's Jazz Ahead program. Strathmore named her an artist-in-residence, along with five other young local artists. And she performed at just about every jazz venue in the city. "
~ Jess Righthand - WashingtonPost.com


"Today I'm really excited for the opportunity to introduce you to one of the sweetest gems in the D.C jazz world, my good friend Lena Seikaly. Lena is one of those rare birds in the jazz scene who combines a stunning mezzo-soprano voice with a beautiful face and inviting stage presence with great humility. Her powerhouse vocals will pleasantly surprise you, as you would not expect a Billy Holiday voice coming from a Lena Horne frame."
~ Nicole - chestnutorangeblogspot

Written in the Stars -
Lena Seikaly (2009)


"Ms. Seikaly sings with a rich mezzo-soprano voice, using intonation, timbre and control that reflect her classical training. Her phrasing, feeling and improvisatory leanings come from an understanding of jazz values. She makes the unconventional, even daring, decision to open her debut album by scatting her way into "East of the Sun and West of the Moon." Musicianship and her sense of proportion make the track, and the CD, a success. Ms. Seikaly may scat too much for some tastes, but she does it with a musician's grasp of harmony, not merely straining to be hip."
~ Doug Ramsey - artsjournal.com


Seikaly's voice takes her listeners into a world of intercultural romance that combines Palestinian warmth with the western passion of jazz. And while she gets her inspiration from legendary jazz artists such as Ella Fitzgerald and Betty Carter, she likes to spice up her music with an Arabic flavor. "I am extremely interested in the fusion of different musical styles. Being Palestinian has influenced the way I see music - I am always trying to connect what I do with Arabic culture and not limit myself to the Western framework."
~ Institute For Middle East Understanding

VIDEOS:

"Nuages" ("The Bluest Kind of Blues")
performed by Lena Seikaly & Steve Herberman

"After You've Gone" performed by Lena Seikaly

2012 Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival - Lydia Lewis Quartet
with Lena Seikaly "What Was I Supposed To Do?"

Lena Seikaly singing "Love Me or Leave Me"