Leslie Maclean , pianist, composer, vocalist and teacher, has been a professional musician since the age of 13. While in college, Leslie worked extensively with free jazz proponent Muhul Richard Abrams. Her imaginative and artistic performance at the Midwest Intercollegiate Jazz Festival won her the esteemed American Music Foundation Award, granted to the single outstanding instrumental soloist at the event. Leslie was deemed “the best” by judging panelist Marian McPartland, who presented the award.
She opened for jazz legend Stan Kenton, and has appeared at many top Chicago jazz clubs and on television and radio. Leslie has also performed with guitarist Mundell Lowe and drummer Roy Burns. She cites as one of her main influences the music of the Big Bands, and enjoys bringing the ensemble-style articulations of the big band sound into her playing and her arrangements.
Her piano style also owes much to her background in classical music and displays a satisfying depth of touch and sensitivity to the piano keyboard. Leslie’s original tunes reflect her wide-ranging musical interests and run the gamut from straight-ahead swing and well-crafted ballads to driving Latin rhythms and jazz fusion.
Maclean earned a Master of Music in piano performance at the Chicago Musical College of Roosevelt University.
Jerry Pollock, drums/percussion, started drum instruction when he was 12 and began his career as a professional musician at the age of 15. He has played all styles of music with symphonic orchestras, jazz bands and ensembles, and theater pit bands. While in high school, Jerry played with other students in a jazz quartet modeled after the Dave Brubeck Quartet. He has also been strongly influenced by the Big Band legacy in part due to his four years of experience with the Illinois State University Jazz Ensemble led by Jim Boitos.
Upon graduation, Jerry returned to Chicago and began teaching drums and auditioned for the Leslie Maclean Trio. Once hired, he also took on the business manager role and booked engagements throughout the Chicago metro area at Collete’s, Redford' sOrphans, The Back Room and others.
Today, Jerry continues to perform with the Leslie Maclean Trio at jazz clubs including Dazzle in Denver, The Blue Room, Green Lady Lounge, Black Dolphin, Jardine’s and others in Kansas City. He also continues to teach drums to aspiring students.
Jerry is an exceptionally musical drummer, adding invaluable imaginative touches to any music he performs. His deft brushwork is reminiscent of Joe Morello and is a frequent feature of Trio arrangements. Jerry often takes a tuneful approach to his improvisation, combining the timbre of the drums with rhythm in such a way as to suggest the melody line.
He studied with Chicago drummers Bob Tilles, Staff drummer for CBS Chicago, and Chicago jazz legend Marshall Thompson, who recorded and performed with many artists including Stan Getz.
In 2006, Jerry became an artist endorser for the Bosphorus Cymbal Co. (http://bosphoruscymbals.com/). and served as the Marketing Director for the Kansas City Jazz Ambassadors. Jerry also serves as the Business Manager for the Leslie Maclean Trio, and holds an MBA from the University of Chicago.
“...Pollock’s skill on the kit and other percussion instruments is a highlight of the CD. Whether delivering strong chops in solos or adding the appropriate sound in just the right place with a percussion instrument, Pollock provides sensitive support for all of Maclean’s arrangements”. Charles Vecoli, JazzReview.com®. All Rights Reserved.
“...Drummer Jerry Pollock, Maclean’s husband, provides textural variety and approaches each interpretation with the ear of a subtle designer. His “in the pocket” drive on “Poinciana” helps to make the trio’s presentation of a familiar melody unique.” Jim Santella, Cadence
Bob Bowman, a native Kansan, learned to play the piano and clarinet before beginning to play bass at age 12. He won a scholarship to the Stan Kenton Jazz Clinic as a high school freshman, followed by study at North Texas State University.
In 1976, he joined the famous Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, touring and recording several albums, including the Grammy award-winning “Live in Munich.” Bob continued his performing and recording career by joining the Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabakin Big Band in Los Angeles in 1979. He recorded numerous albums as a member of this band, many of which were nominated for Grammy Awards. Bob also had long musical relationships with pianists, composers and arrangers Dan Haerle and Frank Mantooth.
Bob has toured and recorded with many artists including the legendary Carmen McRae, Pat Coil, Freddie Hubbard, Bud Shank, Karrin Allyson, Dan Haerle, Steve Houghton, Steve Allee, Bill Mays, Clay Jenkins, Danny Embrey, Todd Strait, Bob Sheppard, Rod Fleeman, John Stowell, Jerry Hahn, Bobby Watson and others.
Bob moved to Kansas City in 1988 where he has been a vibrant part of the jazz scene there. He was a member of the University of Missouri at Kansas City Faculty Jazztet, and leads legendary Kansas City group INTERSTRING.