Lesa Terry & The Women's Jazz Orchestra


Leena Pendharkar & Megha Kadakia

Lesa Terry & The Women's Jazz Orchestra demonstrates the rare convergence of Western classical music and jazz. Lesa Terry, a prolific composer and musician, offers a unique interpretation of symphonic and sacred vocal music, drawing on African and Western classical traditions. Assembling an all-women’s jazz orchestra in the tradition of the 1940’s International Sweethearts of Rhythm, they add a unique palette of instrumentation to create their sound. 

Within the field of music education, Lesa continues as a major contributor to innovative string pedagogy, presenting lectures, clinics, workshops, and demonstrations for the United Nations, North Atlantic Fiddle Conference, Alasdair Fraser’s Scottish Fiddle Camp, American String Teachers Association, Santa Monica College, Duke Ellington Conference, UCLA, International Association of Jazz Educators, Henry Mancini Institute, Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, Cal Arts Summer Music Program for High School Students, Oberlin Conservatory of Music, New York University, The Manhattan School of Music, Julliard School of Music, and the University of Massachusetts. Lesa Terry’s 2001 CD entitled, “A City Called Heaven, Spirituals For Jazz Violin” highlights her dedication to music from the African American continuum as well as a desire to create revolutionary approaches in the field of jazz improvisation and healing through music.