“Leslie Beukelman has a striking voice that conveys emotion subtly and elegantly….Her sound is haunting and personal.”– All About Jazz (Golden Daffodil Review Sept 2020)
“…an edgy and adventurous jazz and rock singer…”– Neil Tesser (The Examiner)
“Exquisite vocalist… (who has) mastered genres as vast as soul, melodic jazz, scat, rock and atonal experimentation…”– Lucia Mauro (Chicago Tribune)
I began my performing career on the cement slab in front of my childhood home in Sandwich, Illinois. Or perhaps it was while my mom was 8 months pregnant playing the drums in DeKalb County’s own Opus V… Either way, music has been a part of my life since, well, forever.
Performing in my youth was a priority, mostly because I enjoyed being on stage with a crew of people, taking the audience (and ourselves) on a journey that would only happen that very way on that very day. We were a team and we were in it together. Going to school at Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts here in the city of Chicago, I earned a jazz performance/jazz studies degree. In addition to meeting a lot of cool people and studying with some of the best musicians the world has to offer, I gained tools to refine my craft and figure out what kind of musical house I wanted to build. I haven’t settled on one type of house yet, as I enjoy many styles of music. Staying true to my initial statement of “taking the audience on a journey,” I do not limit myself to one genre of song and I enjoy exploring music with the incredible musicians I have met through the years and have the true honor of collaborating.
I perform all over the city in a variety of bands. In one week, I may be up on stage in the lights, getting my indie-rock/grunge vibe on with miss remember… or perhaps I’ll be singing the swingin’ hits from yesteryear with an 18 piece big band called the Chicago Skyliners Big Band… you may stumble into a bar and find me belting out my own songs from my heart and soul with my singer/songwriter 4-piece rock band, Brite Lite… or, as you order a fine cocktail, I may be sitting alongside two other beautiful women in the corner of a dark bar, painted in red lights, singing in three-part harmony (me, playing a trumpet or melodica here and there, the other two adorning a ukelele and a guitar), doing our versions of current popular songs, in addition to our original songs (we are The Oh Yeahs)… or if you’re a party-goer, you’ll find me in one of the many gorgeous historical ballrooms in Chicago singing for some teary eyed couple who has just tied the knot and are celebrating the start of their lives together.
You can listen to my musical offerings under the “music” portion of this site; also, find the aforementioned bands’ (among others) music and information on the Projects/Link page. More importantly, find out where, when, and with whom I am performing on the Performances page.
Thanks for reading, and if you come to a show, please be sure to say hello. Lastly, please spread positivity and light, folks… being a jerk just doesn’t look good on you. 😉