Nursing Homes Swing

Bringing live music to local nursing homes

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Lesly Gourdet

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Lesly Gourdet was born and raised in Haiti. He did not begin playing music until he attended the Aaron Copeland School of Music at Queens College (CUNY), where he spent two years studying the fundamentals of music studies, with a year on piano and another on guitar.

Once he decided to take up the double bass, Lesly was fortunate to have been introduced to Frank Russo, from whom he bought the first of three basses and with whom he studied classical music for the following three years. After a brief moment studying on his own while balancing a career in education with other responsibilities, Lesly's upright bass found its way to the closet for close to the next three decades.

In the summer of 2011 he retired from teaching to focus on studying music. He attended the Jamey Aebersold Jazz Camp in July of that year, and by December 10 LG & The PorchCats (Drew Kimball on Guitar, John Sentell on drums, Cody Reifsteck on sax, and Lesly on bass) made its debut at Cville Coffee followed by a few gigs at Siips Wine Bar before it closed in February 2012. That month they began a regular gig at the Whiskey Jar on the Charlottesville downtown mall. Lesly has also played bass with The Blue Ridge Blues Band (which includes George Washburn on guitar and vocals, John Sentell on drums, and Cody Reifsteck on sax) and LG & the Buzzin' Bees (with Larry Bisgaier on guitar, Marc Lee on Drums, and Waverly Milor on harp and vocals). In 2014 Lesly created LG & Friends, fronting the most talented players from the Virginia Commonwealth University Jazz study programs.

This month will mark the second anniversary of LG & Friends's first Nursing Homes Swing performance. They continue to play Wednesday evenings at the Whiskey Jar with players mostly in the Charlottesville/UVA/RVA Jazz Communities and occasionally with friends visiting Charlottesville.

Bringing live music to local nursing homes