LESLEY SPENCER (ASCAP)
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. She has worked as a professional accompanist, music director, arranger, producer, and recording artist with 11 full-length CDs of her original music to her credit, including solo piano, chamber, small ensemble, Latin chamber pop, and orchestral music. She has also produced 4 guided meditation CDs, an enhanced SEPT 11th ANTHEM CD, 2 documentaries, and several videos.
Lesley began her playing career at the University of Wyoming and after a season of working at the San Francisco Opera moved to Chicago, where she worked for many years as an Urban Gateways Artist, Music Director and Instructor for Victory Gardens Theater, Freelance Artist for Radio City Recording, and as a music and documentary producer. She has been blessed to work with many of the finest studio musicians in Chicago, including internationally renowned guitarist Fareed Haque, Geraldo De Oliveira, Jon Paul, Tom Hipskind, Jim Gailloreto, Joe Vito, Everett Zlatoff-Mirsky, Rob Parton, Judy Stone, Melanie Cottle, Joe Sonnefeldt and John Rice, to name a few, as well as, well-known arrangers Pete Labella, Ricardo Lorenz, Thomas Matta, Susan Voelz, and Ed Zelnis; recording engineers Steve Yates, Martin Stebbing and Nick Sanabria; and award wining graphic designer, Carlos Segura, www.segura-inc.com.
With a strong visual quality that evokes a wide range of emotions from the listener, Lesley’s music “transcends the ordinary.” Her critically acclaimed music has been heard on NPR’s nationally syndicated programs Morning Edition and Weekend Edition, Pandora and Whisperings Solo Piano Radio, as well as on XM and Sirius Satellite, plus hundreds of public radio stations in North America – and in Europe on Spain’s Radio Despi, Radio SLOR in The Netherlands, Romania’s Arad & more. Her music has also been licensed for a wide variety of creative projects including film, documentaries, videos, websites, creative visualization CDs, and guided meditation CDs for cancer patients.
A passionate philanthropist, Lesley believes “a small thing can be a big thing” when it comes to helping others and working toward the common good. To that end, she combines her musical and producing skills to help various not-for-profit organizations throughout the country. A tireless fundraiser, she was honored by NIKE for being the top female fundraiser in the country for Team In Training for the 2003 Chicago Marathon, and to date has raised over $107,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for patient care, advocacy and research. While on a Patient Services Advisory Board at the Society she produced Survivor Meditation CDs, both in English and Spanish, for cancer patients, and also produced a documentary for the Society called Why They Run, which takes a deeper look into the Team In Training experience: www.whytheyrun.com Why They Run was chosen to be an official entry into the 2009 On Location: Memphis International Film Festival.
Lesley has donated thousands of her CDs to many not-for-profit organizations to use both nationally and internationally for their fundraising purposes including: The Cancer Crusade, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, American Foundation For The Blind, The Greater Chicago Food Depository, The Hunger Project, Heartland Alliance, Latin School of Chicago, The Seldoms Dance Company, People’s Music School, Uptown Board of Ministers, the I AM Foundation, the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, and the Indigo Village Educational Foundation. Additionally, Lesley spent eight years working as Music Director for Victory Gardens Theater’s Annual Casting Auction, helping to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars, which directly benefitted Victory Gardens’ artistic, educational, and community engagement programs.
In 2015 Lesley released the 2nd CD in her FINDING JOY IN LIVING series. Narrated by psychotherapist Jenny Scanlon and featuring Lesley’s evocative music, these guided visualizations were created to help people de-stress, relax, and harness their own inner resources for healing the pain of loss, anxiety, disease and addiction, as well as creating peace of mind. She also just released her 4th sheet music book of piano solos, JOY GARDEN, and recently teamed up with Art Director/Video Editor Nick Sanabria to create videos of several of her most downloaded music tracks, which is an ongoing endeavor, and one in which she has collaborated with various professional photographers and other visual artists. Lesley currently resides in Chicago where she keeps busy composing, producing, and participating in competitive dog training activities with her two Golden Retrievers, Birdie & Oliver.