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Nadjé Leslie

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Nadjé Leslie
Born (1993-04-23) April 23, 1993 (age 27)
Kingston, Jamaica
Genres
  • R&B
  • Reggae
  • EDM
  • Jazz
Occupation(s)
  • Violinist
  • Singer
  • Songwriter
  • Violin Instructor
Instruments
  • Violin
Websitenadjeviolin.com
YouTube information
Channel
Years active2011–present
GenreMusic
Nadjé Leslie
Born
🏳️ Nationality
💼 Occupation
Warning: Display title "" overrides earlier display title "Nadjé Leslie".

Listen to songs of this musical artist Nadjé Leslie or Buy album of him/her on amazon

Nadjé Antoinette Leslie (born April 23, 1993)[1] is a professional violinist and recording artist[2][3][4]. Leslie is undoubtedly one of Jamaica’s most outstanding young musicians[5][6][7] advancing to the World Stage in 2006 after winning the enviable title “Junior Instrumental Grand Champion of the World” in Hollywood, California at the World Championships for Performing Arts. During the competition she received gold medals and a special Industry award.[8] Since then, she has performed for several heads of state including Prince Charles and Prince Harry on their visits to Jamaica. She continues to mesmerize audiences with her outstanding talent as she effortlessly plays on many contemporary rhythms, from the hypnotic reggae, smooth jazz and classical idioms to thrill audiences all over the world.

After the passing of her mother in August 2010, Leslie and her family faced many challenges. Sheer determination and dedication to her craft kept her going despite the many obstacles that arose. Leslie spent the year of 2011 teaching violin at a children's home which gave her a renewed sense of purpose and motivation to keep pushing to conquer life and to do great things. In 2012 Leslie received a full-tuition scholarship from the Jamaican CHASE Scholarship Foundation[9] to attend Hunter College in New York City to pursue a Bachelor’s of Music Degree. Once in New York however, Leslie faced new obstacles and spent many cold, late nights busking in the underground subway to earn money for school books, etc. Leslie, with the help of family and many friends overcame the odds and is now a well-known performer who continues to perform worldwide. According to Leslie: “Music is my heart’s passion! My release & happy place. No matter how many other things I enjoy doing, nothing compares to the feeling of being on stage… the adrenaline rush, the lights – NOTHING LIKE IT! There are defining moments in each person’s life that I believe shape our destiny. For me, the first time I got on stage with my violin to a captivated audience directed my journey to where I am today. I look forward to releasing more great music, collaborating with other talents and entertaining audiences doing what I LOVE!”[10]

Nadjé Leslie has recorded two albums to date:

Nadjé Violin Girl In Jamaica vol.1 (2007)[4] and Christmas Is Here (2015)[11]

Early life[edit]

Leslie was born on April 23, 1993 in Kingston, Jamaica[12]. First child to parents Michael G.A. Leslie and Grace Elizabeth Leslie. She has one younger sibling, Kadeem M. Leslie.

She fell in love with performing at a young age having been exposed and trained in dance, drama and of course, music.

She began taking classical violin lessons at Mona Preparatory School under the tutelage of Dr. Lisa Walker in 2000 at seven (7) years old. Walker: "I discovered Nadjé Leslie when she was 7 years old at Mona Preparatory School in Kingston, Jamaica. I selected Nadjé from a group of 75 students to learn to play the violin in a small pilot group. She showed an unusual acuity for music even as a beginner. Her musicality was mature for her level and her rapid progress demonstrated her dedication to learning to play the violin. I can confirm that (her) talent falls within the top 1% of students I have coached worldwide."

Leslie states that "Music came naturally to me! It runs in the family. My dad's a musician, my brother's a musician... It just runs through my veins."

In 2003 Nadjé Leslie started training with Paulette Bellamy, OD. Leslie attributes most of her musical style today to Bellamy, who arranged and composed all of the songs on Leslie's debut album: Nadjé Violin Girl In Jamaica, Volume 1 (2007). She has trained with both Paulette Bellamy and Dr. Lisa Walker since then.

Bellamy describes Nadjé Leslie as "an outstanding student (who) has become a unique performer with special mastery of difficult rhythms and interpretation in Classical, Reggae, Gospel, Folk and Pop Genres."

Leslie trained with the ESOR Dance Ensemble for many years.[13][14] This professional dance teaching helped to groom Leslie into the diverse performer she is today. Leslie's performances has been described by The Gleaner newspaper as "she dances to her own beat, feeding the audience with her energy"[15]

Career[edit]

Nadjé Leslie was deemed an alien of "Extraordinary Ability" by the United States government in July 2019 and has since made a name for herself as a performing artist, recording artist and violin teacher in the New York/Tri-state area. Her younger brother Kadeem Leslie, managing her brand: "Nadjé Violin"[16]

Leslie has an impressive repertoire spanning music from the Reggae, Classical, Dancehall, Folk, Pop, Gospel, Rock, R&B and EDM genres. She also possesses the ability to play-by-ear, developed through her many years playing with her father, Michael on piano and with her church band. Leslie has performed for hundreds of weddings, parties, clubs, stadiums and special events (graduations, anniversaries, ceremonies, proposals, church events, etc...) over the years. See "Notable Performances" below for a list of Leslie's most notable shows.

Discography[edit]

Nadjé Leslie has recorded two studio albums to date:

Nadjé, Violin Girl In Jamaica vol.1 (2007)[3]

Reggae, Pop and Jamaican Folk songs arranged by v.

Christmas Is Here (2015)[17]

A fusion of Electronic Dance Music mixed with Reggae and a hint of Latin and Afro-Cuban styles celebrating the spirit of the Holidays.

Awards & Accolades[10][edit]

Year Award/Competition Category
2004 World Championships of The Performing Arts (Trophy, Four Plaques and 4 Category Gold Medals) Junior Dance Grand Champion (ESOR)[7]
2006 Junior Instrumental Grand Champion
2006 Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), National Instrumental Champion (Trophy and 4 gold medals) National Instrumental Champion
2007 Kiwanis Club of Jamaica, Youth In Excellence Award (Trophy)[18] Performing Arts, Violin
2007 City of Hartford, Connecticut - Official Citation, Mayor Eddie Perez (Plaque) Performing Arts, Violin
2008 Jamaican Prime Minister’s, Youth In Excellence Award (Trophy) Performing Arts, Violin
2011 Distinction in Trinity College, London ATCL (Associate of the Trinity College of London) Examinations[19] Violin Performance
2012 Recipient of the Jamaican government’s CHASE Full-tuition College Scholarship[9] Performing Arts, Violin
2013 University of Technology honours Contemporary Jamaican Women, Making Ground Breaking Contributions To The Creative and Business Side of The Music Industry Performing Arts, Violin
2015 Union of Jamaica Alumni Association (UJAA), Under 40 Achievement Award (Plaque) Performing Arts, Violin
2015 Wake Up Radio, Outstanding contribution to the entertainment industry (Trophy) Entertainment, Violin

Notable Performances[20][edit]

Nadjé Leslie performing at BB Kings Blues Club & Grill, NYC (2016)

• Guest performer – BB Kings Blues Club & Grill, New York, NY (July, 2016)

• Guest performer – BB Kings Blues Club & Grill, New York, NY (November, 2016)[21]

• New York Marriott Hotel, Jamaica Independence Ball, New York Marriott Hotel, New York, NY (August, 2014)

CHASE Scholarship Featured Performer, Pegasus Hotel, Kingston Jamaica (July, 2014)

Celebrity Charity Event for the STEP Centre, Jamaica with internationally acclaimed singer, Nicole Henry. Pegasus Hotel (October, 2013)

• Featured performer – The Prime Minister’s Medal of Appreciation for service to Jamaica, Pegasus Hotel (July 31st, 2013)

• Featured performer – Grand Gala, 50th Anniversary celebration, Jamaica National Stadium (August, 2012)

Nadjé Leslie after performing for Prince Charles of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall
Nadjé Leslie after performing, greets Prince Charles of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall (2008)
Nadjé Leslie greeted by Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller

• Featured performer – Prince Harry Royal visit to Jamaica, King’s House, Kingston, Jamaica (March 2012)

• Featured performer – Prince Harry Royal visit to Jamaica, Montego Bay, Jamaica (March 2012)

• Guest performer – Celebrity Wedding – Sean Paul and Jinx, Jamaica (2012)

• Featured performer – University of Technology, Tribute To Women In Jamaican Music (2012)

Nadjé Leslie performing at Carifesta IX, Trinidad and Tobago (2006)

• Featured performer – Jamaica 50th anniversary celebration, National Arena, Kingston, Jamaica (2012)

• Guest performer on tour, Havana, Cuba (2010)

• Featured performer – Prince Charles and Duchess of Cornwall Royal Visit to Jamaica (2008)

• Guest Performer, Jerk Fest, South Florida, (September, 2007)[22]

• Guest performer – Air Jamaica Launch Event, Hollywood, CA – (2007)

• Featured performer – Carifesta IX, Trinidad and Tobago (2006)

• Soloist with the Jamaica Symphony Orchestra

• Concertmaster Hunter College Symphony

National Prayer Breakfast, Kingston, Jamaica (multiple years)

• Featured performer – European Ambassador’s private residence

Press[edit]

Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding presents Nadjé Leslie with flowers at her debut album launch at the Terra Nova Hotel (2007)
Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding presents Nadjé Leslie with flowers at her debut album launch at the Terra Nova Hotel, Kingston Jamaica (2007)

…Prime Minister Bruce Golding, who officially launched Violin Girl in Jamaica, Vol. 1, said "I first heard Nadjé… went up there and put on a performance that was out of sight… I have been one of Nadjé's most fanatic fans since then," Golding said. "It is not just her music that is beautiful and infectious, but the personality that she infuses in the music. She is enjoying her performance as much as she enjoys giving it to us." And he noted that while "When young people become celebrities so early in life some of the time they go ballistic, she is so composed, so modest, so pleasant. She knows that she has a talent but does not consider herself better than anyone else. She has been taught by Paulette Bellamy but she has been nurtured by her parents". Jamaica's greatest asset "I think she is going to be one of Jamaica's greatest assets," Golding said, before Nadjé presented a copy of the album to him…

- Thursday | November 1, 2007, Mel Cooke, Freelance Writer, Nadjé Leslie presents 'Violin Girl in Jamaica', http://old.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20071101/ent/ent1.html[23]

…Moto Perpetuo ('Perpetual Motion') was delightfully executed by violinist Nadje Leslie. The opening ascending scale set the pace for what would be a piece of continuous quick movement, with only a slight reprieve midway through, before the reprise. Leslie's excellent bow control, with the player sometimes having to execute entire phrases in one bow stroke, her dexterity of fingers, precise intonation, the musical attack of the phrases supported by the staccato piano accompaniment, along with the cadenza-like codetta, coalesced into an excellent and memorable performance….Leslie's Evening Time was done to a gentle rumba, accompanied by keyboard, bongo drums and shakers. The medley of Jamaican folk songs, arranged by Paulette Bellamy, which followed, were enriched by Kumina rhythms, decorative passages and pizzicato phrases and enlivened by pulsating rhythms that at one time had Leslie doing some dinkimini steps during Mango Time...

- June 3, 2007, Janilee Jimenez de Abrikian, Gleaner Writer, http://old.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20070603/ent/ent2.html[24]

…CHASE scholarship awardee Nadje Leslie performing at – ‘A Classical Evening With CHASE’ – at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel last Sunday, July 20…Many who knew her from her teen years, was more than  surprised  to see how young violinist Nadje′ Leslie was blossoming into a confident artiste as she continues to pursue studies for her Bachelor of Music degree at the Hunter College in New York City.  Nadjé performed John Halvorsen’s ‘Passacaglia’ (on a theme by Handel), and ‘Piece En Forme De Habanera’ by Maurice Ravel accompanied by Micah Holness on Cello and Zoe Brown on Flute…

- July 28, 2014, A Classical Treat From Chase, https://chase.org.jm/a-classical-treat-from-chase/[25]

…Violinist Nadje Leslie at her best entertaining the enthralled audience… Musical selections were provided by DJ Darryl Burke and special guest violinist, Nadje who played some extraordinary musical pieces to people humming and applauding…

- May 2017, Jennifer Lumley, Writer http://jamaicans.com/7th-annual-barbara-m-simpson-memorial-scholarship-awards-dinner/#ixzz5LWsnpplH[26]

…14-year old violinist Nadjé Leslie, did a selection of reggae, jazz and folk interpretations. Consul General Ricardo Allicock commended the performers for their outstanding display of the country’s rich cultural heritage through song, dance and drama. According to the Consul General, the various creative and artistic expressions from traditional folk through to contemporary form were a reminder of Jamaica’s proud and rich history, of which all nationals should be proud...

- August 9, 2007, Culturama 2007 Thrills South Florida Audience, Jamaica Information Service, https://jis.gov.jm/culturama-2007-thrills-south-florida-audience/

…violin prodigy, Nadjé Leslie. Leslie was crowned National Instrumental Champion at last year’s Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) Festival Competition and was awarded two trophies and three gold medals for her violin solos as well as two gold medals for dancing with ESOR Dance Company. She recently wowed audiences at Culturama 2007 in Tampa and Coral Springs…

- September 10, 2007, South Florida Caribbean News, 6th Annual Jerk Festival offers a variety of activity for every taste, https://sflcn.com/6th-annual-jerk-festival-offers-a-variety-of-activity-for-every-taste/[7]

… This is an original programme from the Kiwanis Club of Kingston, geared towards Identifying and recognizing young persons between the ages of 13 and 25 years who have achieved excellence in the areas of Leadership, Academics, Sports or the Arts and there is also a special category for Bravery. Excellence is defined by the quality of the achievement and the impact it has had at the school, the community or the national level… Nadjé Leslie, noted violinist and multiple gold medal winner at JCDC Festival competitions and winner of the Junior Instrumental Grand Champion of the World

- July 22, 2014, ideasjamaican, https://ideasjamaican.wordpress.com/2014/07/22/the-kiwanis-club-of-kingstons-youth-in-excellence-programme/[27]

…  violinist Nadjé Leslie, who played Rucumbine and Don't Worry. The young woman danced to her own beat, feeding the audience with her energy…

- March 17, 2010, Sadeke Brooks, Staff Reporter, Music 'N' Sync A Great Combination, http://66.132.220.41/gleaner/20100317/ent/ent4.html[28]

… The Who's Who's within New York's Jamaican Diaspora, turned out in their fineries to celebrate the island's 53rd year of Independence at the annual Jamaica Independence Grand Ball held on Saturday, August 15th at the New York Hilton hotel in the heart of New York City… The packed house was treated to a stellar presentation by violinist, Nadje Leslie…


- Sharon Gordon, Writer, Street Hype newspaper, https://www.scribd.com/document/276436892/Street-Hype-Newspaper-August-1-18-2015

References[edit]

  1. "Nadjé Leslie". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2019-07-24.
  2. "Music 'N' Sync a great combination". 66.132.220.41. 2010-03-17. Retrieved 2019-07-24.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Jamaica Gleaner Online". old.jamaica-gleaner.com. Retrieved 2019-07-24.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Jamaica Gleaner Online". old.jamaica-gleaner.com. Retrieved 2019-07-24.
  5. "Culturama 2007 Thrills South Florida Audience". Jamaica Information Service. 2007-08-09. Retrieved 2019-07-24.
  6. "Kingston Gleaner Newspaper Archives | May 01, 2005, p. 113". newspaperarchive.com. Retrieved 2019-07-24.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 "6th Annual Jerk Festival offers a variety of activity for every taste". South Florida Caribbean News. 2007-09-10. Retrieved 2019-07-24.
  8. "6th Annual Jerk Festival offers a variety of activity for every taste". South Florida Caribbean News. 2007-09-10. Retrieved 2019-07-24.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "A CLASSICAL TREAT FROM CHASE – CHASE Fund". Retrieved 2019-07-24.
  10. 10.0 10.1 "ABOUT – Nadjé Violin". Retrieved 2019-07-23.
  11. ♫ Christmas Is Here - Nadjé. Listen @cdbaby, retrieved 2019-07-24
  12. "Nadjé Leslie". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2019-07-24.
  13. "Kingston Gleaner Newspaper Archives | May 01, 2005, p. 113". newspaperarchive.com. Retrieved 2019-07-24.
  14. "Kingston Gleaner Newspaper Archives, Nov 10, 2006, p. 26". newspaperarchive.com. Retrieved 2019-07-24.
  15. "Music 'N' Sync a great combination". 66.132.220.41. 2010-03-17. Retrieved 2019-07-23.
  16. "Nadjé Violin – Nadjé Leslie : Violinist". Retrieved 2019-07-24.
  17. ♫ Christmas Is Here - Nadjé. Listen @cdbaby, retrieved 2019-07-24
  18. ideasjamaican (2014-07-23). "The Kiwanis Club of Kingston's Youth in Excellence Programme". ideasjamaican. Retrieved 2019-07-24.
  19. "Trinity College London - Music Performance Diplomas". www.trinitycollege.com. Retrieved 2019-07-24.
  20. "ABOUT – Nadjé Violin". Retrieved 2019-07-23.
  21. "Nadjé Leslie". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2019-07-24.
  22. "6th Annual Jerk Festival offers a variety of activity for every taste". South Florida Caribbean News. 2007-09-10. Retrieved 2019-07-24.
  23. "Jamaica Gleaner Online". old.jamaica-gleaner.com. Retrieved 2019-07-24.
  24. "Jamaica Gleaner Online". old.jamaica-gleaner.com. Retrieved 2019-07-24.
  25. "A CLASSICAL TREAT FROM CHASE – CHASE Fund". Retrieved 2019-07-24.
  26. JenniferLumley (2017-05-24). "7th Annual Barbara M. Simpson Memorial Scholarship Awards Dinner". Jamaicans.com. Retrieved 2019-07-24.
  27. ideasjamaican (2014-07-23). "The Kiwanis Club of Kingston's Youth in Excellence Programme". ideasjamaican. Retrieved 2019-07-24.
  28. "Music 'N' Sync a great combination". 66.132.220.41. 2010-03-17. Retrieved 2019-07-24.


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