Lesley Mitchell-Clarke is a familiar name in the realm of media relations, promotion and production of
musical and theatrical events, as well as arts journalism. Since 1989 she has been based in New York City and Toronto, specializing in jazz specific music publicity. In addition to her work as a media consultant, she has also worked in virtually all phases of the entertainment business, beginning as a ten year old principal actress with the Los Angeles area “Sherman Oaks Children’s Repertory Theatre” along with classmate, Melanie Griffith.

Born into a show business family, Lesley’s father is veteran jazz bassist and Emmy Award winning comedy writer
and producer, Whitey Mitchell and her Uncle was the late jazz bass legend, Red Mitchell. In the scope of her own career, 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, and has appeared in numerous television shows, features and TV Movies, including “The Jeffersons”, “Happy Days”, “Laverne and Shirley” and “Divorce Court.”

After touring the Orient extensively with her own musical group, “Main Squeeze”, 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.

Throughout her career as a publicist, Lesley Mitchell-Clarke has also been busy as an arts and music writer, contributing to publications such as L.A. Jazz Scene, Hot House – Florida and New York, The Manhattan Mirror, The Whole Note, TheLiveMusicReport, CODA and Jazz Canadiana.com, as well as penning a number of CD liner notes, including a set for Freddy Cole’s recording, To the Ends of the Earth (Fantasy Records). Lesley was an associate, and later an account executive with the highly regarded New York City public relations firm, Third Floor Media (founded by Helene Greece). During her tenure there (as well as independently) she handled a variety of accounts for many major recording labels including projects for Concord Records, Atlantic, Sharp-Nine, GRP, Koch, Brownstone, DRG, RCA Victor/BMG, Nonesuch Records, Telarc, Columbia, and most of Warner Bros. jazz, covering both international CD promotions, tours and “live” performances.

During her tenure there (as well as independently) she handled a variety of accounts for many major recording labels including projects for Concord Records, Atlantic, Sharp-Nine, GRP, Koch, Brownstone, DRG, RCA Victor/BMG, Nonesuch Records, Telarc, Columbia, and most of Warner Bros. jazz, covering both international CD promotions, tours and “live” performances.


While at Third Floor Media, she was also the on-going publicist for the world famous jazz venue, “The Village Vanguard”, and helped orchestrate the memorable media event celebrating the historic club’s 60th anniversary. Other major projects included acting for several years as the New York press representative for "The Montreal Jazz Festival", The Beacon Theatre/New Audiences Concert Series, "The Playboy Jazz Festival", national publicity for the “Harmon Learn to Listen Program, featuring Wynton Marsalis”, and numerous events in conjunction with John Schreiber’s Office (JVC/Festival) and the “The Jazz Times Convention”.

After her successful stint with Third Floor Media, Lesley began her own New York based media consultancy, and for the past ten years has developed a reputation as one of the most effective music-specialized publicists working today.

A few of the major jazz artists with whom she has worked directly include:

Marian McPartland, Joshua Redman (for whom she was involved in a landmark endorsement hook-up between fashion giant DKNY and Redman), Marian McPartland, Barbara Carroll, 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.

Some of the artists and festivals she has represented include:

Susie Arioli, John Alcorn, Steve Amirault, Remi Balduc, Emilie-Claire Barlow, Daniel Barnes, Jean Beaudet, David Benoit, the a cappella group“Cadence”, Blossom Dearie, Billy Drummond, Catherine Dupuis, Giacomo Gates, Winard Harper, Jackie & Roy, Javon Jackson, Sarah Jerrom, Oliver Jones, Athan Katsos, Peter Leitch, Kitty Margolis, Susannah McCorkle, Michele Mele, multi-Grammy nominee Mark Murphy, Helen Merrill, Nehring/Koller & Braid, Matt Newton, Karen Plato, Bernard Primeau, Lee Rittenauer, Daryl Sherman, Lenny Solomon, Janis Siegel, Dave Young, and the recent Festival events "The Distillery Jazz Festival", "The Markham International Jazz Festival", "The Toronto JVC Jazz Festival", “The Toronto Summer Chamber Music Festival”, and the hugely successful “Art of Jazz Celebration 2007”, for which she was the Associate Producer.


Lesley Mitchell-Clarke currently resides in Toronto, and continues to work with artists both locally and throughout the United States, Japan and Europe. She also writes for various arts related publications in addition to working as an actor. She has recently appeared in commercials for McDonald's, Miller Light, Bounce and in the television show, “Queer as Folk”. Lesley is married to the world-renowned Canadian jazz drummer and Member of the Order of Canada, Terry Clarke and has two teen sons, Kristopher and Kyle.

Lesley Mitchell-Clarke is represented in film, radio and television by
Gerry Jordan of Jordan & Associates in Toronto, Canada. Contact: 416-515-2028.

 

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