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LESA CARLSON
Torch, a Tribute to Desire
For 8 weeks, every Monday night starting February 21st, 2000.
 

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Torch, a Tribute to Desire

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"A theatre piece/concert which pays tribute to the forefathers of Jazz. Those who have inspired the desire to continue to create the true Jazz Experience --- raw desire itself."

Los Angeles, CA - The historic Greenway Court Theatre in LA's Fairfax district is alive again with the mesmerizing talents of jazz vocalist, choreographer and creative magnet Lesa Carlson. Carlson brings her 7-piece jazz band Lesa Carlson Off Blue together for an eight-week run of Torch, A Tribute to Desire to the newly reopened theatre. Every Monday night until at least April 3rd the former Fairfax High community center transforms into a sultry Chicago blues, back-alley-joint meets the Paris red-light district with the soul of old New Orleans on a hot sweltering night.

Torch, A Tribute to Desire is a multimedia extravaganza held together and driven by improvisational jazz band Lesa Carlson Off Blue working through different expressions and manifestations of desire, while giving the history and depth of the jazz experience. Expressing this through improvisation technique, which sets jazz apart from all other forms of music, the very thing you hear is composed right then and there. The band uniquely performs standards as well as originals of which you will never hear the same way twice.

Introducing jazz to a new generation, as well as bringing jazz into places where it would not normally
be heard, is part of Off Blue's mission. Off Blue also incorporates a Multimedia aspect that manifests itself
in subtle ways, subject to the venue in which the performance takes place.

Off Blue consists of independent players who's ages range from 18 to 65 years old ~ female vocals, upright bass, drums, sax or flute, and a turntablist, paying respect to the original American art form ~ Jazz. The band is completely improvisational, so you never get the same show twice. The multimedia aspect consists of the magic of Christopher Wonder (performing his magic outside on the porch as you enter and linger), live painting on stage by the immensely talented LA-based artist Dray, dance, spoken word, still photos, old black and white reel to reel film edited and projected by lotek wizard Fin, masks by New Orleans voodoo princess Marilyn Lagrone Amaral and paintings in the gallery by Shane Smith and others. All this is woven around dialogue and old standards, like Cole Porters "Night and Day", Miles Davis' "All Blues", Thelonius Monk's "Round Midnight" and Roger and Heart's "My Funny Valentine".

With the help of Artistic Designer James Eric, The Greenway Court Theatre has been renovated from its original use as a social hall in the 1940's to accommodate a modern 99-seat playhouse with vaulted ceilings, a loft for sound and lighting, beautiful wood décor, an art gallery and a coffee shop. Originally built by Fairfax High students in 1939, it closed its doors during WWII and has been used for storage and some dance classes ever since. Pierson Blaetz and Whitney Weston, founders of the successful Fairfax High Flea Market which takes place every Sunday, also run the Greenway Arts Alliance which began renovations on the space over two years ago. Accommodating theatre productions, digital editing classes and student internships the Greenway Court Theatre is a new focal point for the community. January 14th 2000 marked the reopening of the historic building. The Greenway Court Theatre is located at 544 N. Fairfax Avenue, one block South of Melrose on the East side of the street, next to Fairfax High.

The gallery opens at 7:00pm and the show starts at 8:00pm. Tickets are $10 and only available at the box office the night of the show. All ages are welcome. The public is welcome to call 323-906-0101 for more information.


Lesa Carlson Bio


It is torch the taste of bittersweet. That sassy, smoky blues which compliments Lesa's original sound and unique phrasing. Combine her sultry looks and undeniable sensuality, she embodies the purity of a young women which people have coined "haunting, mesmerizing and able to get completely lost in." Whether she's accompanied by piano, a standard quartet, or her band (Lesa Carlson Off Blue - with upright bass, flute or sax, drums and a turntablist) her throughline is jazz, with a heavy blues influence and just a dash of slow funk to make the body move. Lesa brings life to a range of music from standards like "Summertime", Night and Day" and "God Bless the Child" to old Robert Johnson tunes, such as "Come on In My Kitchen" through originals like "Mystery", "Lazy Days" and "Love's Voodoo Band".

As an ingenue, Lesa is just starting on her journey, but there is an obvious wealth of knowledge that she draws from that comes out in her vocal delivery.

Some of Lesa's accomplishments include:
- Studied and performed Opera for three years
- Performed jazz in Turkey for one year
- Performed with members of the Turkey National Symphony
- Winning vocal awards in New York City and Los Angeles
- Sold and performed an original song for "Arranged Marriage" (feature film)
- Headlining Mid-West Jazz Tour
- Crown titled America's Miss Idaho
- Performed with Blues legend Linda Hopkins
- Julia Migenes (Opera Diva), Issac Hayes (Academy Award Winner) and Paul Bryant (Jazz album of the year 1969) have all hailed Lesa

Most recently:
- Lesa has been the house band at Three of Clubs, Hollywood, CA
- Performed at Woody Harrelson's restaurant and oxygen bar - 02, Los Angeles, CA
- Performed for the Premiere Party of Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy's feature film "Bowfinger" (Imagine Entertainment/Universal Pictures)
- Performed at The House of Blues, LA
- Performed a special concert at the Hotel Niko for the LA art scene

Carlson often describes their show as, "Jazz" the sound of surprise. Bridging the gap between the generations. Using the old fertile history to create and inspire the new, without compromising the integrity of the music. To expand Jazz, true Jazz, to the widest audience it has ever known! This is Off Blue."








 

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For more information please contact Lynn Hasty at Green Galactic, 323-466-5141 or lynn@greengalactic.com.

 


 




Green Galactic Los Angeles 323.466.5141