Leela and Ellie Grace Concert - Part of CrossCurrents 50th Anniversary Celebration
Leela Grace is a nationally-known singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, recording artist, percussive dancer, and teacher of music and dance originally from Missouri. Since moving to Portland, Oregon in 2007, she has built a tremendous following, teaching popular banjo, by-ear harmony singing, and Appalachian clogging classes. In 2014, Leela embarked on the new adventure of motherhood when her daughter was born. In April of 2018, she opened her own school of music and dance in Northeast Portland, Rose City Folk School. She also directs two vocal ensembles, ResistSing! and Rose City Folk Chorus.
Leela has performed and taught nationally for over 30 years, first with her family (as a child), and now as a solo musician and with her sister Ellie Grace (as Leela and Ellie Grace). She has earned critical and audience praise for the "great depth and insight" of her original songs, which have been featured on NPR's All Songs Considered and chosen for inclusion on a "Best of Portland Acoustic Music" compilation CD. She picked up the banjo as a young teen and has developed her own exceptional clawhammer banjo style, marked by clear, bright melodies and powerful rhythm. Leela is also recognized as a dynamic percussive dancer whose style draws most strongly from Appalachian clogging but also incorporates Irish step dance, rhythm tap, body percussion, and much more.
Ellie Grace was born into a deep musical tradition and began her life-long love affair with dance at the ripe old age of five when she slipped on her first pair of tiny clogging shoes. She has spent her life performing professionally as a singer, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and dancer who specializes in roots-based Americana and percussive dance. She first took to the stage as a young member of her family band and now tours internationally as a solo artist and a member of several beloved bands (Leela and Ellie Grace, Claflin & Grace, and Blue-Eyed Girl) and ground-breaking dance companies. Ellie has performed at prestigious venues across the United States and Canada, ranging from the Winnipeg Folk Festival to the Lincoln Center in New York City to the Summer Solstice Festival in Los Angeles to the National Womens Music Festival. She recently appeared as a featured guest with Peter and Paul (of Peter, Paul, and Mary) at the Rubicon Theater in California and Janis Ian at the Swannanoa Gathering in North Carolina.
Ellie is a passionate and devoted teacher, having taught at camps, schools, colleges, and festivals across the country for well over twenty years. In addition to her time on faculty at Smith College, Mount Holyoke College, and the University of North CarolinaAsheville, Ellie has directed schools of folk music and dance in Missouri and North Carolina. In the culmination of a lifetime of performing and teaching, Ellie received her Master of Fine Arts in Dance Performance and Choreography from Smith College in May of 2015. At the end of 2019, she released a highly anticipated solo album of all original songs, On the Side of Love.
Ellie approaches music and dance the same way she approaches life: with an irrepressible spirit, a driving rhythm in her step, a healthy dose of humor, a devotion to social justice, and an undying commitment to using the performing arts to build community and lift others up.
All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church, Kansas City, Mo. (View)
Kansas City, MO 64111
|Kid Friendly: Yes!|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|