Lena Seikaly is a fresh voice on the national jazz scene from Washington, D.C. A long-time student of music, she began her training at age 4 with piano, continued with classical voice in her teens, and went on to complete a B.M. in classical vocal performance at the University of Maryland School of Music. It was in college where Lena discovered a strong passion for jazz, and embarked on a fervent education of jazz history, styles, theory and composition before pursuing a jazz career in the Washington D.C. area. As a vocalist with several D.C. ensembles, she was a participant at the Jazz Aspen Snowmass program directed by Christian McBride, performed at the North Sea Jazz Festival (The Netherlands), the Jazz Ascona Festival (Switzerland), the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee (CA), and several other national and international venues. In 2009, she was a participant at the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. – a prestigious program open to young performer-composers of jazz – and studied closely with Curtis Fuller, George Cables and Dr. Nathan Davis. She was also handpicked as a Strathmore artist-in-residence for the 2009-2010 season at Bethesda, Maryland’s renowned Strathmore Music Center.
Lena has sold out performances at legendary D.C. institutions such as Blues Alley, the Strathmore Mansion, the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, Twins Jazz, and various Smithsonian venues. In February 2009, Lena released her first album, “Written in the Stars,” comprised of standards and original compositions. In October of 2011, she released her second album, “Lovely Changes,” to critical acclaim from several D.C. online and print publications, and held her CD release show to a sold-out crowd at one of D.C.’s top jazz clubs.
An avid educator, Lena has worked as a private teacher of jazz and classical voice, beginning piano and guitar in Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia, and was the vocal jazz instructor at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts during the 2008-09 school year. She currently leads educational jazz vocal workshops at the Strathmore Music Center.