Monday, January 19, 2009

What Ever Happened To: Maysa Leak

Yet again in conversation, a formerly familiar name came up and I (once again) wondered aloud where this chick disappeared to. Y'all remember jazz singer Maysa Leak right? I heard her on the "Positivity" album with Incognito (every cut on this CD was awesome!!) and became an instant fan....she left Incognito, recorded several solo albums and then...nothing. Well I did some research and this is what I found about Maysa on
b. 17th August 1966, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A.

Maysa Leak embarked on a singing career at an early age.

By the age of 6 she had already determined that she was going to be a singer, and she spent her elementary and high school days performing in choir and musical theater productions.

Maysa majored in Classical Voice Performance at Morgan State University; during her studies there she began writing and recording original material.

She also placed second in Baltimore's first annual Billie Holiday Vocal Jazz Contest and auditioned for Stevie Wonder's vocal group Wonderlove.

She was accepted into the group but joined only after she had earned her degree from Morgan State.

Upon graduating, Maysa moved to North Hollywood to perform with Wonderlove on the 'Jungle Fever' soundtrack and appeared in live and televised performances to promote the film.
Maysa also recorded jingles on her days off from performing with Wonderlove and worked at local record shops.
In 1991, she was recommended to the British funk-jazz group Incognito by producer Steve Harvey, a mutual friend of Maysa's and of the band's leader, Jean-Paul 'Bluey' Maunick.
Maysa moved to London and joined the band in time to record the 1992 album 'Scribes, Tribes & Vibes', which included the hit single 'Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing.'
She also recorded the 1993 album 'Positivity' with Incognito before returning to Baltimore in 1994 to record her first solo album, 'Maysa'.
'What About Our Love,' the album's single, reached number 52 on Billboard's Top 100 List.

In 1997, Maysa returned to
Incognito and recorded 'Beneath The Surface'.

During this time she began collaborating with the neo-blues group Grainger, and appeared on their album 'Phase 1'.

Maysa has also recorded with Rick Braun, Rachel Z, Rhythm Logic and Pieces Of A Dream.

Incognito's 'No Time Like The Future' followed in 1999, and her second solo album 'All My Life' (which was produced by Maunick), was released on Japanese Warner Brothers in 1999.

The album was released on Expansion Records in the UK the following year to critical acclaim.

On the 6th Decemer 1999, Maysa gave birth to a baby boy whom she called Jazz.

**Maysa was 6 months pregnant when her physician told her that she was in good enough shape to go on an international tour with Incognito. During an encore performance in Osaka, Japan, Maysa's water broke. She didn't realize what was happening since she wasn't due for another three months, so she went back to the hotel and went to bed. It wasn't until breakfast the next morning when the group's leader noticed she was in pain and called an ambulance that she finally realized she was in labor.

Maysa delivered Jazz at 25 weeks gestational age at a small hospital in Osaka. Weighing only 2 pounds, he was as little as a bag of sugar and fit in the palm of her hand. Jazz was immediately placed in the NICU, where he stayed for the next two and a half months.
Alone and scared, Maysa turned to music to help get her through the crisis. "I wrote Out of the Blue to capture the emotional journey that I faced when my son Jazz was born," said Maysa. Eight months after coming home from Osaka, Maysa thought they were in the clear, but they weren't. She thought Jazz had a cold, but then noticed his chest was heaving and he was having trouble breathing. When she took him to the hospital, she found out that Jazz had RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus), a very contagious and common virus that's potentially very serious, especially for premature babies.
Knowing how serious RSV can be, Maysa is proud to be the National Spokesperson for RSV Awareness.**
**courtesy of celebrity

To find out more about what's happening with Maysa Leak:

And here is the update!!! Maysa will be performing with her band on Jan 20 at The Lincoln Theater in Washington DC to honor President Barack Obama!
On Jan. 20 stunning jazz artist Maysa Leak, along with urban jazz band Spur of the Moment, will hit the Lincoln Theatre’s storied stage to honor our newly elected president, Barack Obama.
The award-winning songstress will showcase songs from her newest album, Metamorphosis.

Tickets are $50 and can be purchased at and
The Lincoln Theatre
1215 U St. NW
Cool! I'm glad she's doing well!

"Just don't give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there's love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong."

-- Ella Fitzgerald, Jazz Singer

1 comment:

dnyree said...

She has actually been tapped to play Phyllis Hyman in a biopic that is supposed to be in the works.
I saw her on the Michael Baisden show on TV One a few months ago, and they were discussing it.