Leah Finkelstein


Leah Finkelstein is the daughter of noted late jazz vocalist, Claudia Finkelstein of Joy Spring. She began her studies as a pianist at the age of five. When Leah was fourteen, she required more intense piano study and began to work under the tutelage of Alex "Coolie" Johns, a well-known jazz pianist and arranger from New England. Through his brilliant teachings, Leah learned all about jazz theory and the world of improvisation. Alex also booked her first gig at the age of fifteen with a jazz combo in Portland, Maine., with her mother on vocals. Leah studied at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, earning B.A. in Music Performance, with a focus on piano. She composed on a regular basis and performed on campus and around the area. After college, she lived in Boston, playing in many bands as a pianist ranging from rock to soul to R&B. She formed her own band, The Help, featuring her original music and had a successful run. During that time, Leah also played solo gigs in Florida, the Caribbean and New Orleans. When Leah's mother fell ill in 2002, she returned home, continued to perform, and focused on spending time with her family. After Claudia passed in 2005, Leah had boom of creativity, composing what would become her next album, recorded by her husband, Kevin, a professional audio engineer. She formed another band that her bass player named Dear Claudia, after hearing Claudia's jazz recordings and knowing how close Leah was with her mom. Dear Claudia was extremely popular in Southern Maine, New England, and had a successful tour in NYC in 2007. The Dear Claudia album was also successful on the radio, and continues to be played on radio stations globally. After receiving interest by Showtime for some of her songs, she left her day job on the east coast as a social worker and relocated to Los Angeles with her husband. Since moving to LA in 2009, Leah has been performing all over Southern California at several venues, wine tasting rooms, and for private functions. While getting acclimated to the west coast, Leah recorded second album, Feigning Composure, produced and engineered by Jill Tengan, the Senior Recording Engineer at RUSK Studios in Hollywood. Leah and Jill are currently finishing up album #3, due to be released this year, 2015.