Leslie Sanazaro
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Leslie Sanazaro


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"Leslie Sanazaro"

KDHX Community Media, The Whitaker Foundation and Tower Grove Farmers' Market are pleased to announce Leslie Sanazaro will perform at Harvest Sessions August 18 from 10:00 a.m. until noon. She wil play at the West Pool Pavillion in Tower Grove Park during the Tower Grove Farmers' Market.
Leslie Sanazaro is a singer, songwriter and pianst who combines her talents to produce beautiful array of pop ballads. What really makes Sanazaro an outstanding performer is her jazz inspired vocals and clever song writing. Her solo act features slow, sweet songs that has earned her a growing fan base.

The Harvest Sessions concert series takes place every Saturday at the Tower Grove Farmers' Market, located in Tower Grove Park at the West Pool Pavillion. All performances are free, open to the public and run from 10:00 a.m. until noon.

- KDHX.org Local Independent Media

"Home Spun"

These new songs sound cross-bred for maximum exposure, a Venn diagram where indie rock, downtempo folk and light jazz intersect. Her voice is strong but reserved; luckily, she relies on lyrics and the Brill Building basics of song craft to make her points, and refrains from piano-pounding histrionics or octave-jumping oversinging.
The five songs on Roof are brief, varied, and give a good impression of Sanazaro's strengths. Shuffling drums and reverb-heavy guitar set the pace on opening track "For You," while layers of Hammond organ, Mellotron flutes and background vocals give heft to Sanazaro's direct and effective piano playing. "Hot and Cold" veers more toward ballad territory, while "On Your Roof" tells a story of blossoming romance and St. Louis summers with spacious, open chords that threaten to envelop the song. That these songs could sneak onto a Starbucks play list or into a commercial for Old Navy is a testament to Sanazaro's understanding of pop music's dynamics. She saves the best for last with "Put on Your Shoes." A bluesy piano vamp and a heavy downbeat give way to a seductive, soaring chorus that's both saccharine-sweet and surprisingly potent. And that mixture of sweetness and substance is a nice way to think of Leslie Sanazaro as an artist — the sheen of her radio-ready tunes doesn't detract from their durability and heart.
— Christian Schaeffer - Riverfront Times

"Local Motion: Leslie Sanazaro"

Pianist and singer Leslie Sanazaro has performed with local act Polaris and continues to sing regularly with So Say We All, but recently she has spent time honing her solo act. Last year she released Stars in the Attic, a disc that is relaxed, slightly jazzy and thoroughly adult. The temptation with young female piano players is to over-play and over-sing, and it is to Sanazaro's credit that she does neither on Stars; the album is uncluttered and neatly ordered, with big, open piano chords leaving room for her nimble, octave-spanning voice. When Sanazaro returns home this week, it will be toward the end of her month-long journey with the Green Light Tour, a trek that groups three up-and-coming singer-songwriters under the banner of global-warming awareness. Sanazaro performs with Nashville's Jen Woodhouse and Austin's Todd Sapio. - Riverfront Times (St. Louis)

"Singer-songwriter uses old-fashioned work ethic to create success"

Leslie Sanazaro has been crafting an emerging reputation in St. Louis in the most old-fashioned of ways – simple hard work – while applying all the new technologies available to any modern musician.

A presence online at MySpace? That’s in place. Forays into music video? On the way. Monthly gig cards highlighting upcoming shows, dropped off at every venue she visits? A matter of routine. A portable PA for those last-second gigs? Of course!

Caught early in April for a post-lunch chat at Mangia Italiano, the singer-songwriter confessed, in so many words, a spirit that runs counter to many musicians in town. Those who eschew playing locally say that the audience will eventually catch up to and tire of any act. But Sanazaro, a talented pianist and vocalist, isn’t worried about that. In fact, despite several gigs a week – under her own name and with the bands Polaris and So Say We All – she’d be happy to increase the work rate rather than scale it down.

“I’m starting to have a handful – eight, 10 people – that are always showing up to gigs,” she said. “Or, at least, most of the time they’re there. Seeing those faces lets me know that I’m doing something right.” Pause. “That’s how it’s supposed to work!”

And “work” is just what Sanazaro’s applied to her career.

She’s played at a host of restaurants, lounges and nightspots as a solo singer-songwriter act, often accompanied by bassist Micah Johnson. With Johnson, guitarist/vocalist Bill Dechand and drummer Kenny Moore, she makes up So Say We All. And on nights when those acts aren’t gigging, she’s often found as a sort of hired gun with the rock band Polaris, adding vocals and percussion to a group that’s been playing around town for a decade.

That band added Sanazaro after her move back to the region three years ago. After growing up in Cuba, Mo., Sanazaro traveled, eventually stopping for a long stretch in Philadelphia. There, her musical ambitions grew, but the move to St. Louis really helped spur her career along. For a town that’s got a reputation for not embracing new – let alone veteran – talent, her experience so far has offered a different story.

“It’s taken a lot of work in St. Louis,” Sanazaro said, “but I’ve had a lot of good exposure since moving here from Philadelphia. I just had a feeling that I wanted to come home. St. Louis has been so welcoming and positive. It’s been such a pattern of support. And since going full time, it’s gotten better and better. And it is full time – not 40 hours a week, but 60 or 70 hours. And it’s totally worth it.”

“She’s a real trooper,” said Dechand, her songwriting foil in So Say We All. “She’s really giving it her all. She’s quit her day job and is going at it full time, which a lot of people in St. Louis aren’t able to do.”

Dechand’s a fan of her multiple-gig approach to music. “I’d say that a lot of musicians in St. Louis have a lot of things going on,” he explained. “The more you learn from one situation, the more you can bring to another. Playing with different bands, guesting with someone new, all of that will help her.”

This month, Sanazaro’s solo career will move front and center, as she moves her shows from her core of nearly a dozen St. Louis nightspots to a mix of venues along the eastern U.S. and Canadian coasts in support of her recently completed EP, “Stars in the Attic,” which she’s been selling at shows and via digital downloads. On what she’s dubbed the Green Light Tour, she’s hitting the road for 22 shows with two fellow singer-songwriters: Nashville’s Jen Woodhouse and Todd Sapio of Austin, Texas.

In each city, they’ll not only play a date, they’ll be involved in local environmental efforts, including things as simple but profound as planting trees, to help mitigate the fuel needs of touring acts.

“Jen’s a friend from college and we started talking again,” Sanazaro said. “We started thinking and trading ideas and thought it would be a good idea to have another songwriter with us, who is going to be Todd Sapio. We thought we’d give it a little bit more of an environmental pitch, too. ... At shows we’ll each have a solo set, as well as an environmental speaker from that area. “

Again, the work involved in setting up such a challenging affair is notable. “You have to talk to a lot of city planners and environmental groups to do something as simple as digging a hole,” she joked. “And we’ll be talking to them right until we take off.”

After she returns to St. Louis in late May – with solo dates at Brandt’s on May 25 and at SqWires on June 1, among others – Sanazaro will continue promoting “Stars in the Attic” while recording with So Say We All. The components of making good nights in her old/new hometown will start all over again.

“Ideally, I play at a place with decent acoustics,” she said, summarizing a perfect night. “An attentive audience is it for me. And they’re not just listening to the music, they’re coming up to sign the mailing list or take home some music. That’s so wonderful, so great.”

And it’s a scene that seems to be recurring more and more. - Sauce Magazine


'Stars in the Attic' (2006) EP. Receives regular play on local St. Louis radio KDHX, Streaming Radio on The Lou , regularly on 'Women of Substance' Radio on Live365.com, nationally on independent radio stations, and Canadian and European radio airplay through licensing agreements. Leslie's music can be found on iTunes, Rhapsody, CdBaby, MySpace, SnoCap, ReverbNation and others. The new EP 'On Your Roof' is NOW AVAILABLE.



Leslie Sanazaro is an active performer and singer-songwriter pianist. A degreed musician and international touring singer, she released her first EP ‘Stars in the Attic' in 2006. Since then she has organized international solo tours, gained radio airplay in the US, Canada and Europe. From February to May of 2008 Leslie played over 70 shows in Asia. Leslie released her new record "On Your Roof" in September, 2008.

Influenced by pop, folk, classic rock, jazz and modern day songwriters, some of Leslie’s major influences include Carole King, Rickie Lee Jones, Tom Waits and Peter Gabriel among others. She has played in all kinds of settings, namely jazz groups and singer-songwriter settings, was the lead singer in a trip-hop band in Philadelphia, sang with a Midwest rock-n-roll outfit and sings in studios from the Midwest to the east coast on numerous recording projects.

She has been written up and reviewed for her musical and cause related efforts many times in and outside of St. Louis, including articles about her environmental tour. The Green Light Tour 2007 played 20 cities throughout the US and Canada in just over three weeks that May, teaming up with environmental sponsors, planting trees and raising awareness about global warming in each city.

Leslie is currently living in St. Louis and maintains a full-time playing schedule.