"...one of the local jazz scene’s most promising performers" & "one of Washington's brightest young voices in jazz" – The Washington Post
"Lena Seikaly [is] one of the contenders for D.C.'s best singer, with a rich voice and precise articulation that belies her enormous creativity on the vocal." – Washington City Paper
"The lovely young D.C. vocalist Lena Seikaly is gaining a national reputation. Little wonder: her full-bodied voice has power and confidence far beyond her years, and her litheness and control is incredible. [She is] well on her way to a major singing career…" – Washington City Paper
"An absolutely fabulous voice... It's really refreshing to know a vocalist who can read and write just as well as the other cats." – Curtis Fuller
"Ms. Seikaly sings with a rich mezzo-soprano voice, using intonation, timbre and control that reflect her classical training. Her phrasing, feeling and improvisatory leanings come from an understanding of jazz values." – Doug Ramsey (2008 Lifetime Achievement award-winning jazz journalist)
LENA SEIKALY is a fresh voice on the national jazz scene from Washington, D.C. A long-time student of music, she began her classical training at age 4 with piano, continued with classical voice in her teens, and went on to complete a B.M. in classical vocal performance at the University of Maryland School of Music. Though on course for a career as an operatic mezzo-soprano, it was in music school where Lena discovered a strong passion for jazz, and embarked on a fervent education of jazz history, styles, theory and composition before pursuing a jazz career in the Washington, D.C. area. As a vocalist with several D.C. ensembles, she was a participant at the Jazz Aspen Snowmass program directed by Christian McBride, performed at the North Sea Jazz Festival (The Netherlands), the Jazz Ascona Festival (Switzerland), the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee (CA), and several other national and international venues. In 2009, she was a participant at the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., a prestigious program open to young performer-composers of jazz – there, she studied closely with greats Curtis Fuller, George Cables, Nathan Davis and Carmen Lundy. She was also a Strathmore Artist-in-Residence for the 2009-10 performance season at Bethesda, Maryland’s renowned Strathmore Music Center. Lena has sold out performances at legendary D.C. institutions such as Blues Alley, the Strathmore Mansion, the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, Twins Jazz, and various Smithsonian venues.
In February 2009, Lena released her first album, “Written in the Stars,” comprised of standards and original compositions. In October of 2011, Lena will release her second album, "Lovely Changes."
An avid educator, Lena has worked as a private teacher of jazz and classical voice, beginning piano and beginning guitar in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia for several years. She was the vocal jazz instructor at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts during the 2008-2009 school year. Beginning in 2010, Lena has been leading educational workshops for jazz vocalists at the Strathmore Music Center.