Recognized as one of the most prolific and versatile performers on the Connecticut music scene, guitarist George Lesiw has made his surge a topic of conversation and interest amongst the Northeast audience. Lesiw combines the true improvisational essence and language of jazz, the daring electricity of rock-fusion and the gritty fire of blues.
Known as a bandleader and sideman for some time now, Lesiw initiates a spark of rock-fusion with a combination of the emotional fire of the blues sprinkled with funk, soul and R& B, making him a desired performer in music venues across the state and beyond.
Whether playing a straight-ahead jazz gig with his quartet at Bar 140 in Shelton, Connecticut or wailing his blues with his new blues project, Black Snake Boots, at Connecticut’s premier blues clubs, Black-Eyed Sally’s in Hartford, or playing original jazz fusion music on the main stage of the Long Beach Jazz Festival in California, one thing remains constant – Lesiw exemplifies a passion, virtuosity, versatility and fire to his music like no other.
His most recent performances include a duo residency with Lee-Ann Lovelace at Crave, a Latin fusion restaurant and night club in Ansonia. Once a month, he leads the popular blues jam at Café Nine in New Haven. Twice a month, he leads the jazz jam at Bar 140 in Shelton, Connecticut. Lesiw was also the main guitarist with “A Nordic Sound Jazz Orchestra” (2016-17). In 2017, his band “Black Snake Boots” was a finalist at the 2017 Connecticut Blues Challenge. In addition to Jazz, rock, fusion and blues, Lesiw is also adept in other styles and genres, producing his latest album, Luke Rodney’s Ta Te Ta Ta, an all original album of songs from the Caribbean, and performing Brazilian music with artist Isabella Mendes.
Lesiw is the proud composer of three albums: “Clarity”, “Aurora Nights” and “Anuta Was Here”. The Berklee College of Music and SUNY Purchase graduate has been a staple of the New Haven music scene for more than 20 years. A student with the great John Abercrombie for a year, enabling him to take in Abercrombie’s influential composition and improvisation skills, George has opened over the years for a host of name acts including but not withstanding, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Roomful of Blues, and Luther “Guitar Jr.” Johnson. Lesiw credits as his music influences: Kenny Burrell, Wes Montgomery, John Scofield, Abercrombie, T-Bone Walker, B.B. King, Miles Davis, and John Coltrane.
Since emerging onto music scene, Lesiw and his band was recognized in 2007 as the Jazz Search Winners of the 20th Annual Long Beach Jazz Festival in Long Beach, California. While on the West Coast, he also played California’s Temecula Valley International Jazz Festival, the Spaghettini Grill and Jazz Club and The Baked Potato, along with the Jackie Slater & Friends Celebrity Golf Tournament. On the East Coast, he has been featured at Toad’s Place, an every Wednesday residency at The Owl Shop in New Haven, New York City’s The Knitting Factory, Greenwich Village Bistro, The C Note, and Acme Underground. Other noted locales include: the Stony Creek Puppet House Theatre, the Underground Parade and the Clean Energy Expo at Lorenzo Studios, the Gathering of the Elements and the Collinsville CT Arts and Music Festival.
“What I really love about playing live music is just connecting with the audience, seeing people smile,” said Lesiw. “One of my favorite things to do when I’m playing my original music is to push the boundaries of what the audience might listen to live – to take them someplace that perhaps they may not have expected the music to go.”