Sunday, January 21, 2007

Profile: Monica Lee – Musician On the Move

Monica Lee is an Alberta girl, run away to the West Coast to do what she loves most - make music.

She might have started singing from the word go...only her mother knows , but she does say she sang all the time. First piano, then choir, cello, and viola, then no more cello, then clarinet, trumpet, base clarinet and flute, recorder and kazoos too, then a guitar and back to piano ... She loves them all and has made better friends with some. Starting at open mics in Victoria in the early 90's, she made the big move to Vancouver in 1998 and began gigging with her CD, Feeling Fences. Several incarnations of The Monica Lee Band have come and gone, all the while honing her skill as a band leader and song writer. Later, jazz school opened a whole new way of thinking. A new woman , in 2003 Monica started what is today the voice and sound of Monica Lee.

Lee states among her influences Carole King, Veda Hille, Joni Mitchell, Tracy Chapman, Tom Petty and the sound of planes passing by.

Whether she is carrying the audience through a melancholic love song, or bouncing them around the room Calypso-style with her trademark East Van anthem, “Down On the Drive”, Lee is always charming and captivating. Watching her play so many instruments as masterfully as she does, is awe-inspiring.

Producer Marc LEspérance is both drummer and backup vocalist and is producing the band’s first CD. Marc has produced many successful artists’ debut discs, like PoGirls first self-titled CD, The Salteens debut album, several albums with Ray Condo And The Ricochets. Marc has had an enormous impact on the local and national music scene and is excited about Monica Lee's work.

"Monica is one of the most talented singers and songwriters I have ever worked with. Playing her songs every week at the Libra Room is an enormous pleasure!

Late last year she had the honour of having three songs off her Seasons Greetings CD put into a made-for CBC and APTN documentary A Safer Sex Trade, directed by another Drive denizen, Carolyn Allain, about the sex trade in Vancouver, including the haunting tracks, Fall Away, and Judy Lea.

She was then asked to compose original music for the rest of the film.

“I learned a great deal in the process,” Lee said, “and I’ve discovered I truly love working within this medium. I’m looking forward to the next opportunity to do sound for film.”

The film is set to air on CBC Newsworld’s The Lens - Channel 26 on Tuesday Jan 23, at 7pm & 10 pm, Jan 24th at 1am, Saturday, Jan 27th at 12am, 7pm and 10pm PST

Go to the CBC Newsworld schedule go to and check for your time zone.

You can also visit the producer’s website at for show times, cast and crew bios and the film's trailer.

The documentary was also featured recently in the
Vancouver Sun.
Monica Lee every Thursday evening at the Libra Room....for more details visit her website or myspace page...addresses below.


By the way, there is a rumour going around that the next music in Monica's life will be a wedding march!

Sorry to break it to all you single guys.

Buy her CD anyway!

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