Leisa has been working in the Australian music industry for over 25 years, in both jazz and musical theatre/cabaret.
Since 1990, Leisa has musically directed and performed in over 150 shows, including "Beauty and the Beast", "Chess", "A Chorus Line", "Little Shop of Horrors", "West Side Story", "Jesus Christ Superstar", “Phantom Of The Opera”, “Cats” and many others.
After training in classical piano for 12 years, Leisa then went on to study jazz vocals at the Canberra School of Music, under the direction of Gery Scott, for 6 years. It was here that she also gained the valuable writing and arranging skills that have assisted in her musical direction and performance, making her one of Canberra's, Sydney’s and the Gold Coast's most sought-after accompanists and musical directors.
Leisa performed the role of "Lucy Harris" in the Australian premiere production of "Jekyll & Hyde", playing opposite Donald Cant as Jekyll/Hyde. This performance lead to her winning a CAT award for Best Actress in a Musical.
Other onstage credits include playing Mrs Potts in "Beauty and the Beast", The Plant in "Little Shop of Horrors", the Fairy Godmother in "Cinderella", the Dolly Parton Pig in "The 3 Little Pigs", and Wishy Washy and the Genie in "Aladdin". She has also made several appearances with the Royal Military College Duntroon Band, as a soloist at the popular Music at Midday concert series, as well as the Chief Minister's Senior's Week concerts.
Leisa has shared the stage with artists such as internationally acclaimed jazz vocal group The Manhattan Transfer, Jon English, Simon Gallaher, Todd McKenney, Toni Lamond, Noni Hazelhurst, Amanda Muggleton, John Foreman, and many other talented entertainers.
In 2013, Leisa was awarded a Canberra Critics Circle Award for her services to music in Canberra, as well as a CAT Award as “Best Musical Director” for Freerain Theatre Company’s production of “Cats”.
In her spare time, Leisa performs around Canberra, Sydney and the Gold Coast as a piano vocalist in various venues, and with several of her jazz combos, including “The Leisa Keen Trio” “John Mackey and Leisa Keen Jazz Duo”, “The Blamey Street Big Band” and “O Christmas Trio”. She also frequently accompanies other artists in Canberra, Sydney and the Gold Coast, as well as taking her various bands to jazz festivals all over Australia. Leisa also teaches singing and piano.
Whether playing solo piano/vocal or with her magnificent musical partner, John Mackey (Sax), Leisa has a diverse range of both old and new songs that is sure to delight people of all age ranges and backgrounds.
Perfect for parties, cocktail functions, corporate functions or weddings.
The Leisa Keen Trio is one of Canberra’s busiest and most popular jazz combos. The trio plays a smooth blend of well known jazz tunes, and pop tunes with their own “jazz treatment” including 3 sets of "Postmodern Jukebox" styled arrangements, but they are equally at home playing Rock’N’Roll, Soul and Disco to dance the night away.
The trio, consisting of piano/vocals, drums and a horn player, is in constant demand for weddings and parties; however Leisa also brings 25 years of musical theatre and cabaret experience to the trio, adapting it to suit both cabaret and corporate events.
The combo can easily be expanded to a quartet/quintet/sextet, featuring a punchy horn section.
The Blamey Street Big Band is one of Canberra's premier big bands and specialises in music from the big band era.
The band is directed by Leisa Keen and specialises in big band music of all era, with a large library of music covering the 1930s to today.
Former directors of the band include Ian McLean and Derrick Brassington.
The band has performed at a number of public events and venues including:
The band also plays for many balls and private functions.
At 49, John has accomplished many things. At 12 he won a classical saxophone scholarship and by 14 he was already performing professionally with some of Perth’s most established jazz musicians. He performed on the Perth’s Young Entertainers at age 17. He was invited to become a member of the Young Australian Jazz Ambassadors in 1988 and continued touring and recording with them for several years, as well as television appearances on Hey Hey It’s Saturday and The Sunday program., John has performed with many legendary international musicians inlcuding, Ray Charles, B.B. King, Dame Kiri Tekanawa, Nat Adderley, Kurt Elling, Eddie Henderson, Roy Hargrove, Red Rodney, Kenny Werner, Bob Mintzer, Richie Cole, Johnny Griffin, Al Cohn, Woody Herman, Ralph Moore, Mark Levine, Don Rader, Ronnie Scott, Jim McNeely, Mike Nock and Australian legends including, James Morrison, Vince Jones, Dale Barlow, Bernie McGann, Roger Frampton, Andrew Gander, Matt McMahon, James Muller, Carl Mackey, Jamie Oehlers, Troy Roberts, Jonathan Zwartz, Miroslav Bukovsky and many more.
(born Czechoslovakia) is one of Australia's leading jazz trumpeters and composer/arrangers.
In 1994 Bukovsky won an ARIA Award for Best Jazz Album of 1994 with his band Wanderlust. Miroslav has been on staff at the ANU School of Music since 1999. He is a former student American trumpeter Bill Adam.
Born in Czechoslovakia, Bukovsky grew up listening to jazz on illegal 'Voice of America' late-night broadcasts. Originally classically trained, he joined various big bands whilst still living in Czechoslovakia. When the Soviet army invaded his homeland in 1968, Bukovsky, who was then on tour, decided not to return. He migrated to Australia and soon found a place for himself in the Sydney jazz scene. Despite then having only a basic grasp of English, Bukovsky met a number of musicians and quickly made a name for himself jamming with them. It wasn't long before he was playing in such groups as the Daly-Wilson Big Band and Bob Bertle's Moontrane.
Bukovsky co-founded Ten Part Invention with drummer John Pochee and pianist Roger Frampton in 1986 and has been active as a composer for this band. He has also composed for his other bands, including Major Minority, which he formed in 1987, and Wanderlust, formed in 1991. Wanderlust then went on to win the ARIA Award for Best Jazz Album of 1994 with their 1993 self-titled first release, Wanderlust (Rufus Records/Universal).
Bukovsky has been teaching at a university level since the mid-seventies, first at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and currently at the ANU School of Music. Influenced by a wide variety of musicians including Louis Armstrong, Freddie Hubbard, Blue Mitchell, Clifford Brown, Dizzy Gillespie, and Miles Davis, Bukovsky incorporates aspects from all jazz styles into his playing. He has had a long and established career, and has performed with many groups including:
Bob Bertle’s Moontrane, The Bruce Cale Orchestra, Sydney Conservatorium Orchestra, KMA Orchestra, Mark Simmonds' Freeboppers, Renée Geyer, The Daly-Wilson Big Band, Monica and the Moochers. Carl Orr, The Mighty Reapers, Jump Back Jack, Hungarian Rapsadists, and The Australian Art Orchestra.
Leisa Keen and John Mackey - Section of "Just The Way You look Tonight"
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