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Meet Jacques Lesure

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jacques Lesure.

Jacques, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I’ve always loved music. My parents have pictures of me as a toddler in Detroit, MI, surrounded by toys at Christmas. But I was drawn to a multicolored xylophone. According to them, once I began playing with it, all other toys paled in comparison. My ears favored the sounds of Charlie Brown’s background music and seeing a live jazz trio on “Mr. Rogers Neighborhood” solidified my love for jazz. Although I tried playing several instruments, I began playing guitar exclusively at ten years old, in church.

Over the years, I had formal and informal training such at Interlochen Arts Academy, Wayne State University, and Berklee College of Music, in addition to studying with seasoned veterans. The most profound and lasting training which has made me who I am today is experience on the bandstand.

I’m thankful for musicians like Jimmy Smith, Kenny Burrell, George Benson, and Pharoah Sanders, who have been influential in shaping my direction.

Having had the opportunity to perform nationally and internationally has molded me into the type of musician who thrives with all types of audiences.

Has it been a smooth road?
It has not been a smooth road. I have experienced, like most artists, struggles with finances and relationships. I was able to overcome and adapt to life’s challenges and have been successful in both areas.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into your story. Tell us more about your work.
I am a jazz guitarist. I specialize in providing the highest quality jazz music for any event. I’m known for playing music that connects with the audience. Listeners who may not be familiar with jazz music, often enjoy my playing. I’m also known for mentoring up and coming musicians. They are always welcome on my bandstand. I’m proud of my efforts in keeping the legacy of jazz music alive and well. “JAZZ IS [NOT] DEAD” in my book. Many of my mentees have gone on to do great things. I’m most proud of how my music makes the audience feel. I’ve had numerous conversations about how uplifting and inspiring my performances have been. I believe this is what sets me apart from other artists in the eyes of the general listener. Music should be enjoyed. In many ways, it’s an experience. I’ve learned to connect with audiences across all ethnic, age, and gender lines. Lastly, I’m thrilled that I was able to help “save jazz” with Ryan Gosling in “La La Land.” 🙂

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I see audiences returning to and digging the sounds of straight-ahead jazz. The music itself will not change because jazz is rooted in improvisation. The nature of it is always changing. The sounds are an expression of life and personalities which comes out in the music. You will never hear a live performance the same. However, the presentation is changing. You’re less likely to see old men in black suits and will see songs written by people like Norah Jones and Cee Lo becoming the new “standards”.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Ernest Gregory

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition, please let us know here.

2 Comments

  1. Yaakov Levy

    July 31, 2019 at 19:53

    Thanks for this, VoyageLA! Jacques Lesure is the real deal. He’s a seasoned veteran who is enthusiastic about reaching people through the music. He loves to mentor younger musicians. His intention to spiritually uplift people through his art is admirable and one hopes many more musicians will follow that example.

  2. Yaakov Levy

    July 31, 2019 at 21:07

    Also, re Jacques Lesure: He always has very fine musicians working with him. As a group they instinctively know how to swing and bring happiness to the music. The listener will always be in for a treat. For example, Jacques often has the highly popular drummer Marvin “Smitty” Smith playing with him. You should definitely take the opportunity to hear these veterans of the classic African American tradition of Jazz…it is beloved all over the world and you can hear it right here in Los Angeles!

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