Although Lesley Mitchell-Clarke is a familiar name in the realm of media relations and arts writing, she has also been nearly a life-long performer, and has worked in virtually all phases of the entertainment business, beginning as a ten year old principal singing and dancing actress with the Los Angeles area “Sherman Oaks Children’s Repertory Theatre” – along with cast-mate, Melanie Griffith. Born into a show business family (Lesley’s father is the late veteran jazz bassist and Emmy Award-winning comedy writer and producer, Whitey Mitchell and her Uncle was the late jazz bass legend, Red Mitchell), Lesley leapt into her professional career directly following an early graduation from High School at age 16. She has worked as a busy singer/dancer, and traveled with a number of name acts, including Mitzi Gaynor, Tommy Sands, Fabian and Robert Goulet. Lesley has appeared in numerous television shows, features and TV Movies and after touring the Orient extensively with her own musical group, Lesley owned and operated a recording studio in Los Angeles where many jazz projects and much of the vocal work for Hanna-Barbara Cartoons was recorded. Lesley has also worked in production on NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson”, “The Hollywood Squares” and “The Midnight Special” as well as numerous productions for Merv Griffin, Dick Clark, Bob Hope, Mark Goodson and Chuck Barris.
Additionally, Lesley Mitchell-Clarke has been busy as art and music writer, contributing to publications such as L.A. Jazz Scene, Hot House and The Whole Note. Lesley was also an account executive with the New York City public relations firm, Third Floor Media, and during her tenure there (as well as independently) she handled a variety of accounts for many major recording labels and most of Warner Bros. jazz, covering both international CD promotions, tours and “live” performances. A few of the major jazz artists with whom she has worked directly include Joshua Redman, Marian McPartland, Barbara Carroll, Ann Hampton Callaway, Janis Siegel (of The Manhattan Transfer), Blossom Dearie, Fred Hersch, Larry Goldings, Brad Mehldau, Wallace Roney, Jeanie Bryson, Terence Blanchard, Kevin Mahogany, Cyrus Chestnut, Ray Anderson and Helen Merrill. While at Third Floor Media, she was also the on-going publicist for the world-famous jazz venue, “The Village Vanguard”. Lesley Mitchell-Clarke’s continuing projects include beginning her second year as the Media Director for the TD Niagara Jazz Festival, and Hosting/MCing at various Festivals and events, including Oliver Vadas’ WEST END JAZZ series and The KENSINGTON MARKET JAZZ FESTIVAL.