Nesmith , Lavenia: Introducing Lavenia Nesmith
Artist: Nesmith , Lavenia
Artist: Nesmith , Lavenia
Title: Introducing Lavenia Nesmith
Product Type: COMPACT DISCS
A native Washingtonian, Lavenia Nesmith has performed locally and nationally, including Blues Alley, Twins Jazz, Bohemian Caverns, LaPortas, Jazz Night at Westminster, Oakland Mills Jazz Series, Henley Park Hotel, Ritz Carlton Hotel, Mandarin Hotel, Tuskegee Airmen Gala, The Arch of The Capitol, The Hart Senate Office Building, The Library of Congress, the Gaylord Hotel at the National Harbor and The Martin Luther King, Jr. International Chapel in Atlanta, Georgia. A promising musician since an early age, Lavenia suspended a professional musical career after college in order to start a family, raise two sons and follow a successful career path dedicated to public service, inspired to help others. Today, Lavenia is renewing the pursuit of her passion as a vocalist full-time. In celebration of Women's National History Month (March 2009), Lavenia was invited by The State Department to perform with an all female jazz quartet for former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, garnering rave reviews. Other members of her quartet were pianist, Janelle Gill; bassist, Amy Shook and percussionist, Tovia Bradley. At the invitation of The White House, Lavenia, along with The Metropolitan Baptist Music Ministry performed at The Day of Prayer Service for the Katrina Hurricane victims at The Washington National Cathedral (September 2005). Festival credits include: Maryland Museum of African Art Jazz Festival, Duke Ellington Jazz Festival, DC Jazz Festival, 2012 National Cherry Blossom Festival and The Mid Atlantic Jazz Festival where she has been invited to perform for three consecutive years to sold out audiences. She has been accompanied by the phenomenal music artistry of Pianists Eric Byrd, Chris Grasso, Janelle Gill, Bob Butto, Jon Ozment, Stephen Key; Bassists James King, Michael Bowie, Zack Pride, Bhagwan Kalsa, Wes Biles, Harry Jackson; Saxophonists Paul Carr, Lyle Link; Trumpeters Thad Wilson and Kenny Rittenhouse; and Percussionists Lenny Robinson, Terron Whitehead and Alphonzo (Al) Young. Lavenia's stage credits include her recent performance in the production, "Washington's Greatest Slave Escape: In the Spirit of The Pearl", written and directed by D. Marietta Williams at The University of the District of Columbia. Lavenia has also given a powerful performance in the production, "Never Turn Back", written and directed by Curtis King at The Kennedy Center, Millennium Stage (2004). In February 2004, she was the recipient of an award for "Outstanding Performance" in Tribute to Mahalia Jackson, presented by The Department of Commerce, Blacks in Government. One of her greatest rewards was being invited as the featured soloist at The 40th Anniversary of the Martin Luther King, Jr., March on Washington at The Kennedy Center Concert Hall, where she shared the stage with legendary actor Ozzie Davis (Aug. 2003). Another notable performance was as a backup vocalist for Diana Ross at The Merriwether Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD. Lavenia is also the Creator, Executive Producer, Actor and Vocalist in two original productions: 1. "Sista's Can Sa-a-ng" - A Tribute to Female Legends in Jazz. This production is a poignant, soul searching, hand-clapping, toe-tapping journey down memory lane; and 2. "A Tribute to Mahalia Jackson," a one-woman show told in dialogue and song where Lavenia weaves historical information with praise, humor, seriousness and humility. "Lavenia Nesmith gave a tour de force performance in her one-woman show," says Sarah Hearn of DC Gospel Music Examiner.