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Ledisi is a major up-and-coming singer with a very versatile style and a large voice who is perfectly comfortable singing swinging jazz, blues, r&b, hip hop or urban. Born in New Orleans, she sang with the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra when she was eight. Her mother, an r&b vocalist, became one of her inspirations. After moving with her family to Oakland, Ledisi sang r&b, played the role of Dorothy in a local version of the Wiz, and worked with the Beach Blanket Babylon in the early 1990s, a cabaret act that featured parodies and impersonations. She studied opera and piano at the University of California Berkley’s Young Musicians Program for five years. Ledisi formed the group Anibade, a sextet that performed a mixture of r&b, hip-hop, funk and jazz in the San Francisco Bay area. The group’s first CD, 1999’s Soulsinger, was made for the tiny LeSun label. Ledisi sang on a jazz album for bassist Marcus Shelby and in 2002 recorded the independently-released Feeling Orange But Sometimes Blues. She fared well as a guest on the 2004 all-star Luther Vandross tribute Forever, For Always, For Luther and has also appeared on CDs by Poncho Sanchez, Omar Sosa and the Braxton Brothers. Lost & Found was released by Verve Forecast in 2007 and it gained her a great deal of attention, having a hit on the r&b charts with “Alright.” Ledisi plays a 1920s jazz singer in a speakeasy scene of the George Clooney film Leatherheads, performing “The Man I Love.” She has appeared quite convincingly at Ella Fitzgerald tributes (including on a PBS television special) and clearly belongs to several overlapping musical worlds.