Reel Jem

Reel Jem


“Reel Jem defies categorization. Monica Leigh and her cohorts bring a potency to their blend of neo-soul and do-it-yourself indie rock attitude. —Janine Schaults, rock critic


Reel Jem is an R&B/indie-rock/neo-soul band from Chicago. They fuse the grit, authenticity & emotion of old school R&B with the danceable hip hop beats and modern rock intensity of today. Reel Jem is unique as a band in that they draw from many genres of music to help define their sound including classical, blues, jazz, rock, urban, gospel, Latin, Brit pop, new wave, and classic alternative. Reel Jem is currently preparing to debut their first full- length album consisting of only original material due out in June of 2007. Reel Jem's CD release party is scheduled for June 1st, 2007 at Silvie's Lounge in Chicago. Reel Jem is also working on promoting their music on a national level. In the meantime, Reel Jem can be seen playing locally at various Chicago venues.

The band was formed in early 2004 by lead singer Monica Leigh and it was originally planned to be a back-up band for her solo material. But soon Reel Jem morphed into a full fledged band writing its own original material. The current line-up of the band is Monica Leigh on lead vocals, Mike DeMars on bass and Renee S. on guitar, piano, and backup vocals. Reel Jem gained local exposure by performing at the semi-final round of the 2005 Emergenza Festival at the Double Door. The band’s fan base has blossomed greatly since the band’s inception. With the release of their debut album, Reel Jem plans to tour nationally and eventually internationally. The band’s goal is to create more of a buzz and to get signed to a label.


CDs are available on

Internet streaming play for the track entitled "More" at The Music Syndicate-

Set List

Depending on what type of venue Reel Jem is playing they vary their setlists between originals and covers. If they are playing a venue that prefers covers, the band mixes up their set between half covers and half originals. If Reel Jem is playing a venue that prefers originals, they perform mostly originals with one or two covers. Their sets range from 40 minutes to 3 hours, depending on what the venue requests. Some regular covers include "Chain of Fools", "Never Loved a Man" and "Respect" by Aretha Franklin, "Let's Stay Together" by Al Green, "Heatwave" and "Dancing in the Streets" by Martha and the Vandellas, "Beast of Burden" by the Rolling Stones, "Are You In?" by Incubus, "Fell In Love With a Boy" by Joss Stone, "Proud Mary" by CCR and by Ike and Tina Turner, "Lover, You Should've Come Over" by Jeff Buckley, and "Dock of the Bay" by Otis Redding. However, this is not an exhaustive list of covers.