Denise Leslie at Metalworks Studios where To Be Grand was recorded

A gifted entertainer and storyteller, vocalist Denise Leslie sings at the intersection of Jazz, R&B and Rock, with jazz being the most chosen road. Denise possesses a distinctive skill for improvisation and scat, and the joy she exudes while demonstrating these skills is contagious. With the release of her new original tune “To Be Grand” Denise re-affirms her love of the genre, her love of singing and now her undeniable skill as a melody-maker and lyricist.


“To Be Grand” is a very witty, satirical song – a daydreamy fantasy that began while its writer was simply out walking during the pandemic. “At the time, like most of us, I was feeling very put-upon, frightened and powerless, especially after just having released my debut album in early 2020 – One Fine Morning – the promotion of which came to a grinding halt with the onset of the pandemic” the singer explains. “…My way of escaping was to turn my thoughts to the lives of powerful world leaders, the super wealthy, A-list celebrities and the privileges they enjoy. I’d then mentally put myself in their place, luxuriating in thoughts of having such extravagant, powerful, exciting lives!’” she explains. “I knew I had to write this song. I was just having too much fun. I kept conjuring up more and more outrageous, decadent scenarios to insert myself into – and yes, even booking 5-star ice hotels!”

The song is rich with tongue-in-cheek references to everyone from Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof, to the iconic Vegas Oceans-11-cool ‘60s Rat Pack to entitled American princesses. It can be summed up as a sharp-witted, fun jazz track that celebrates the human being’s capacity for imagination while poking fun at the absurdity of a status and celebrity-obsessed culture.