Leena is all about that jazz

Published 4:00pm 29 May 2023

Leena is all about that jazz
Words by Ashleigh Howarth

For as long as she can remember, jazz music has always been an important part of Leena Salim’s life.

Growing up in Singapore, her family loved to enjoy the sweet and soulful sounds of great musicians from the jazz world.

“We grew up listening to songs in Malay. My mother used to sing all the time in the kitchen whilst making our meals - she had a lovely voice,” Leena says.

“It wasn't until I was perhaps 10 years old that I first heard my father singing along and copying the lyrics from a cassette tape of Nat King Cole singing Mona Lisa.

“I was mesmerised by Nat's rich vocal tone – not so much my father’s voice, although he scored an A for effort.

“Nat was the hook that led to the discovery of other great singers such as Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra.

“They in turn, led me to jazz. I was hooked!”

This early introduction to the genre inspired Leena to go down the same path and express her thoughts and feelings through song.

“My interest in jazz has always been the curiosity with the "interpretation" of how one would present a certain song,” Leena explains.

“I was attracted to the freedom that it allows - to be as straightforward or as wild as one wanted - and both would be just as interesting because it's yours.

“There are no right or wrong answers to your own unique expression.”

Today, Leena is a successful artist who is well known in the jazz industry for her mature and elegant sound.

While she does still love and appreciate the classics, today Leena enjoys listening to Postmodern JukeBox, Scary Pockets, Karen Souza, The Cooltrane Quartet and bossa cool blends. 

Leena will be performing at the upcoming Moreton Bay Jazz and Shiraz event at Newport, which will be held at Newport Park, located on Spinnaker Blvd and Lionheart Cres, Newport.

The event is free to attend, and will run from 1-5pm on June 3. 

See Leena live

You can catch Leena playing at:

The Brisbane Jazz Club

The Laneway Stage at Eat Street Northshore 

Bitter Suite in New Farm

The Boardwalk Cafe at the North Lakes Hotel

Cafe Lagarto in Samford 

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