Leela Grace is a nationally-known singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, recording artist, percussive dancer and teacher of music and dance originally from Missouri. She spent a beautiful 8 years in Portland, 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 late 2015, Leela and her family moved to northern Vermont following a job opportunity for her husband. After many "adventures" in the snowy northern lands of the east, she returned to the Pacific Northwest in the fall of 2016, inspired and ready to resume teaching and performing in her home community.
Leela has performed and taught nationally for over 25 years, first with her family, 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.
As a teacher of music and dance, Leela has inspired literally thousands of school children, banjo students, percussive dancers, and singers of all ages through the classes, school assemblies, week-long camps, and lessons that she has taught across the U.S. and Canada since she was little more than a child herself. Her students have called her a "dynamic, engaging, and knowledgeable instructor" and "a skilled musician" who "has a wonderful ear, and a super way of motivating you to develop your skill." She is a kind, entertaining, experienced teacher who offers clear, understandable instruction to singers, musicians, and dancers of all levels.
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