Children’s music singer/songwriter Joanie Leeds found the start of her musical career to be a challenge, as most beginning artists do. Long before she was named a finalist in the Children’s category of the Session II 2009 John Lennon Songwriting Contest for her song “I’m a Rock Star,” Leeds spent many of her days bouncing from gig to gig around local venues in New York City. She finally realized her passion for children’s music when she got a job at a Gymboree in Manhattan and was able to earn a paycheck by working and singing with kids. After a stint on the birthday party and pre-school circuit, Leeds had enough music to fill three full-length albums.
At present, Leeds tours as part of the group Joanie Leeds & The Nightlights. Members include Leeds (guitar/vocals), Dan Barman (drums), Scott Stein (keys), Matt Aranoff (bass), and Thomas Bryan Eaton (electric guitar). The band, now a well-known group in the children’s music community, has performed at such venues as the Brooklyn Children’s Museum and XPoNential Fest in Camden, NJ. After releasing a DVD entitled “City Kid Live,” Joanie Leeds & The Nightlights were honored with two first place and one second place National Telly Awards, which recognize local, regional, and cable television commercials and programs; other recipients have included Bon Jovi, CBS, AT&T, and Comedy Central.
The group’s most recent honor comes from one of the most well known children’s television networks. Nickelodeon’s Parents Connect has just nominated Leeds and her band for the “Best Party Entertainer” award. The winner is determined through fan votes. Anyone wishing to support Joanie Leeds & The Nightlights’ can vote for the group at the Parents Connect website. Voting closes August 31, 2010.
Joanie Leeds & The Nightlights continue to maintain a full touring schedule on top of their other activities. For those interested in seeing a performance, check out their complete list of tour dates.