Leah Pearson-Finnie is an amazing Harlem based Blues and Jazz singer whom I’ve had the pleasure of seeing perform on several occasions. In my interview with her she told me that she started to sing at around 2 years old. The oldest of her siblings, her mother worked nights and her father worked during the day. During the day her father would gather them around the piano as a form of entertainment, and of course she would sing. Later she would sing at church to the pleasure of everyone present.
“Lady Leah” likes to find the message that is already within a song that she sings, and feels that there are so many pieces of music that are important, and likes to perform those songs that have been already written as a form of expression of that message. Currently she is working on a few original songs that she hope to have ready next year. Her dream is to uplift the lives of the people she sings for, and brighten their day.
The very first song she learned to sing was “Peter Cottontail” as a child ever before she could walk, and coming from a musical family I can see why. Her father whose is a musician, and her two brothers and sister played instruments behind him in church. Leah and her musical family became very well known locally in her hometown of Ohio, and were always being invited to sing at weddings and special events, known as the “Pearson Family”.
Lady Leah was influenced by famous musicians such as “Cab Calloway”, “Billy Holiday”, and “Ray Charles”. Leah told me that her father taught her everything, as well as learning from the greats she listened to, “style, and “form”. Leah told me that a couple of her fondest musical memories were, “singing around the piano with family and schools musicals”.
During a live performance Leah likes to get to know her audience so that she can give her all when she sings. Leah has an R&B and a Jazz band that she rehearses with a couple of times a week.
A live jazz vocalist who sings “purely for the joy” of others, Leah released her CD “Off the Shelf” in 2015, and is also a resident jazz singer during brunch at Cheri restaurant in Harlem every Sunday at 121st street and Lenox Ave from 12:00 AM to 3:00 PM, and Lady Leah also performs every 4th Wednesday at the nightclub “Harlem Nights” at 138th street and 7th Ave with her Blues band “Sweet Life” at 8:00 PM.